Nissan Leaf Nismo Confirmed, Baby!

nissan leaf nismo confirmed baby

Nissan unveiled the Leaf Nismo EV this week, with sales commencing in Japan at the end of the month. This is a big surprise for the Western automotive media, as few of us truly believed it was possible. While rumors suggested the existence of such a vehicle, we presumed it would either not happen or manifest as a pathetic appearance package on a vehicle entirely consumed with efficiency.

We were wrong. Nissan actually retuned the Leaf’s computer for improved acceleration and gave it a bunch of meaningful performance upgrades.

However, Nissan didn’t say how much faster it would be compared to a standard Leaf. The model isn’t exactly sprightly (0-to-60 takes around 7.5 seconds), so the improvements probably won’t convert the Nismo variant into the ultimate sleeper car.

It also won’t look the part. While the automaker did chuck in a bunch of performance upgrades, appearance remains a large part of the equation. It has some strips of red trim (which is all the rage right now), new front and rear fasciae, LED headlamps, two-tone paint job, and a few other touches that make it look more aggressive. There’s also some red stitching found in the cabin, red trim pieces, a flat-bottomed, Alcantara-clothed steering wheel, sport seats, an an upgraded gear selector.

If that’s all it was, we’d be annoyed. But Nissan took the time to give the electric vehicle some meaningful hardware, as well. In addition to programming the computer to improve acceleration, Nissan also tweaked the braking system, traction control and anti-lock brakes to prioritize dynamics. The Leaf Nismo also has a new set of shock absorbers and unique 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Continental ContiSportContact 5 tires.

It’s not going to take down a Tesla P100Ds Model S, but it also isn’t supposed to. It’s an electric economy vehicle that Nissan kicked in the pants. But it does make us very excited about the future possibility of a Nismo variant of the more powerful, long-range Leaf E-Plus.

We are keenly aware that the prospects of this coming to North America aren’t great. However, we’re hoping Nissan listens and realizes that this is the kind of thing we want to see from Nismo — and that the idea of a juiced-up Leaf is something the market could be interested in.

Thus far, Nissan hasn’t mentioned any plans to sell this thing outside of Japan.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • PJmacgee PJmacgee on Jul 23, 2018

    Oh look, an ugly Bolt, with totally inferior everything. What a waste of time.

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Jul 26, 2018

    These things might work well in The Sun Belt but not all of us live there, thank Glavin. This, or any other Leaf, can't get me to work for six months of the year. Were it lifted 6" and AWD - sure. As long as I could charge it at work, and know that it would both start and move with 3' of snow blown up around it. My F-150 handles this admittedly rare situation admirably for the time being.

  • DenverMike When was it ever a mystery? The Fairmont maybe, but only the 4-door "Futura" trim, that was distinctively upscale. The Citation and Volare didn't have competing trims, nor was there a base stripper Maxima at the time, if ever, crank windows, vinyl seats, 2-doors, etc. So it wasn't a "massacre", not even in spirit, just different market segments. It could be that the Maxima was intended to compete with those, but everything coming from Japan at the time had to take it up a notch, if not two.Thanks to the Japanese "voluntary" trade restriction, everything had extra options, if not hard loaded. The restriction limited how many vehicles were shipped, not what they retailed at. So Japanese automakers naturally raised the "price" (or stakes) without raising MSRP. What the dealers charged (gouged) was a different story.Realistically, the Maxima was going up against entry luxury sedans (except Cimarron lol), especially Euro/German, same as the Cressida. It definitely worked in Japanese automaker's favor, not to mention inspiring Lexus, Acura and Infiniti.
  • Ronnie Schreiber Hydrocarbon based fuels have become unreliable? More expensive at the moment but I haven't seen any lines gathering around gas stations lately, have you? I'm old enough to remember actual gasoline shortages in 1973 and 1979 (of course, since then there have been many recoverable oil deposits discovered around the world plus the introduction of fracking). Consumers Power is still supplying me with natural gas. I recently went camping and had no problem buying propane.Texas had grid problems last winter because they replaced fossil fueled power plants with wind and solar, which didn't work in the cold weather. That's the definition of unreliable.I'm an "all of the above" guy when it comes to energy: fossil fuels, hydro, wind (where it makes sense), nuclear (including funding for fusion research), and possibly solar.Environmental activists, it seems to me, have no interest in energy diversity. Based on what's happened in Sri Lanka and the push against agriculture in Europe and Canada, I think it's safe to say that some folks want most of us to live like medieval peasants to save the planet for their own private jets.
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  • Car65688392 Thankyou for your valuable information
  • MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.