Nissan is reportedly considering building a sports car based on the electric drive hardware from its new Leaf EV. From a business perspective, it would likely make sense for Nissan to follow the same path set forth by Toyota/Lexus with premium hybrid models, and indeed, the Leaf is already pegged to get a pricier sibling at Infiniti. A premium battery electric vehicle could be sold a significantly higher price point, helping to subsidize the cost of more mainstream models like the Leaf.

The big question is what platform to use. Mercedes-Benz and Audi are both developing electric versions of their respective supercars. Nissan could do a battery powered version of the 370Z, which has both its positives and negatives. The Z is relatively lightweight for a modern car, although its small size could make packaging the battery problematic. A more likely scenario might be a version of the 2009 Infiniti Essence concept which was originally shown as a hybrid. The larger car would allow for more battery and range.

A third possibility that might actually be the best option is a new car based on the Leaf platform but with the motor moved to the rear axle. The compact size of the electric motor could make packaging easier than with an internal combustion vehicle, and much of the rest of the hardware could stay the same.

[Source: Inside Line]

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