Nis­san ste­ams a­he­ad with Le­af Nis­mo

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News - MOTORING STAFF

The Nis­mo per­for­man­ce ver­si­on of the Nis­san Le­af e­lec­tric vehi­cle (EV) that pe­op­le ha­ve long been ho­ping for is on its way and the Le­af Nis­mo laun­ched in Ja­pan at the end of Ju­ly.

An e­ar­lier Le­af Nis­mo RC con­cept was ba­sed on the first-ge­ne­ra­ti­on Le­af, but ne­ver ma­de it in­to pro­ducti­on. W­hen the se­cond-ge­ne­ra­ti­on Le­af was laun­ched, Nis­san “te­a­sed” fans with a­not­her Le­af Nis­mo con­cept, which it has fi­nal­ly con­fir­med will be put in­to pro­ducti­on.

Alt­hough i­ma­ges from the Ja­pa­ne­se au­to­ma­ker show its in-hou­se tu­ning di­vi­si­on has had its say on the Le­af, it’s not cle­ar just how much the Nis­mo ver­si­on will dif­fer from the re­gu­lar ver­si­ons of the Le­af EV in terms of per­for­man­ce.

Whi­le the Le­af Nis­mo will de­ve­lop mo­re do­wn­for­ce, the drag coef­fi­cient will re­main the sa­me, and a set of s­pe­ci­al 18-inch al­loys will help keep air re­sis­tan­ce to an ab­so­lu­te mi­ni­mum.

Ot­her en­han­ce­ments co­me in the shape of a set of Con­ti­nen­tal Con­tiS­por­tCon­tact 5 ty­res with mo­re grip than the Le­af’s nor­mal rub­ber, a sport-tu­ned sus­pen­si­on, and cu­s­tom s­teer­ing, bra­ke and sta­bi­li­ty tu­ning to pro­mo­te bet­ter hand­ling.

T­he­re are so­me ob­vi­ous ex­te­ri­or sty­ling en­han­ce­ments to im­pro­ve the car’s a­e­ro­dy­n­a­mi­cs. On the out­si­de t­he­re are sig­na­tu­re Nis­mo em­blems, cu­s­tom lig­hting, a u­ni­que gril­le and front and re­ar bum­pers, re­mo­te-con­t­rol re­tracting black si­de mir­rors and the u­su­al Nis­mo sig­na­tu­re red accents.

The red high­lig­hts al­so fe­a­tu­re in­si­de the car, w­he­re t­he­re’s an Al­can­ta­ra-wrap­ped s­teer­ing w­heel, a faux-car­bon fi­nish on the in­stru­ment pa­nel, cu­s­tom gau­ges, and a s­pe­ci­al se­at and door trim ma­te­ri­al with so­me at­tracti­ve red and grey stit­ching.

But w­hat e­ver­y­bo­dy re­al­ly wants to know is how fast the Le­af Nis­mo will be af­ter a tu­ning com­pu­ter gets to grips with it to pro­vi­de w­hat Nis­san des­cri­bes as “mo­re re­spon­si­ve acce­le­ra­ti­on,” which it says will be “de­li­ca­te but strong”.

On­ce, pe­op­le mig­ht ha­ve scof­fed at the i­dea of a per­for­man­ce Le­af EV, but now we’ve seen just how fast e­lec­tric cars can be thanks to the li­kes of the Nio EP9, t­he­re’s no re­a­son for Nis­san to be timid with the Le­af Nis­mo.

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