Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments in the much-hyped world of electric vehicles is the fact that no major OEM has committed to proving their battery-powered cars in the crucible of competitive racing. But it seems that this crucial oversight is being addressed by Nissan, which is unveiling a race-spec Nissan Leaf NISMO RC, aimed at pushing the electric racing world forward while proving that green isn’t synonymous with dull. Nissan’s presser explains:
“Combining the talents of NISMO, Nissan’s world renowned motorsports group, and engineers behind some of the company’s Super GT and FIA GT1 race teams, the Nissan LEAF NISMO RC will serve as a rolling laboratory for the accelerated development of EV and aerodynamic systems, as well as a platform for the development of new green motorsports series,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman, Nissan Americas.
The new electric race vehicle will likely make a series of special demonstration appearances at various motorsports venues in 2011, with the company exploring pioneer zero emission competition spec series in future years.
The shorter, lower, lighter racing Leaf has the same battery pack as the production version, but shifts the drivetrain to a mid-mounted position, driving the rear wheels. Early testing points to a 0-60 time of around 6.85 seconds and a top speed of 93 MPH. Nissan’s not announcing any details of the hinted-at racing series, but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the first manufacturer-backed EV racing effort.