The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC looks race-ready with its massive adjustable rear wing and its lack of rear doors, rear seat, trunk, audio system, navigation and carpeting. Its low roofline, carbon fiber tub, double wishbone suspension and brakes that can stop the vehicle on a dime set the Leaf Nismo apart from its close cousin, the road-going Leaf. However, underneath, the Leaf Nismo is, well, a standard Leaf, with its powertrain and battery pack swiped directly from the road-going version.
So, what's the Leaf Nismo RC like to drive on the track? To find out, we'll turn it over to Autocar's Colin Goodwin, who had a rare chance to drive the Leaf Nismo at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Here's an abbreviated version of Goodwin's track-time evaluation:
The Leaf RC feels like a racer to sit in. Lots of carbon, bucket seat, beautiful drilled pedals and an array of switches. ...
With race-car suspension and slick racing tires, sudden loss of connection with the tarmac is unlikely, but there's a feeling that if the Nismo-built car did strike out for the grass there wouldn't be much you could do about it.
We only get four laps because the car has to come in and be charged ready for the next driver's turn. More than four laps might be a problem for the driver, too, because boredom would have begun to set in.
Electric racing cars, no chance. Watching electric racing cars? I'd rather mow the lawn.
All in all, a pretty bleak assessment. Perhaps there's no chance that Goodwin could be won over by an electric racer. Perhaps he just hasn't driven the right one. Whatever his problems with the Nismo, there are plenty of people who would strongly disagree with his assessment that lawn mowing is somehow more exciting than all this.Hit the jump to catch the Leaf Nismo lapping the track at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
[Source: You Tube, Autocar]