Nismo Nissan Leaf concept confirmed for 2017 Tokyo show

Published: 03 October 2017

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Nissan has confirmed that a Leaf Nismo concept will be shown at the 2017 Tokyo motor show.

Remember the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept car? The barmy battery-powered racer that Nissan scared journalists with in 2011?

Seems that it might not have been a one-off loonmobile, after all.

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What? A real electric Nissan Leaf by Nismo?

One is definitely in the pipeline, and could be Nissan’s answer to the more powerful Leaf model the brand has already said is coming in 2018.

The concept has all of the kit of Leaf v2.0 including the ProPilot autonomy tech and e-Pedal, plus a load of performance-spec Nismo parts. Sports suspension, high-performance tyres and ‘a custom-tuned computer that delivers instant acceleration at all times.’

Inside, little has changed compared to the regular Leaf, apart from some choice red accents.

Gareth Dunsmore, director of EV Nissan Europe, said: ‘We had the Leaf Nismo RC as a one-off prototype and it shows where the vehicle’s spirit could go.’

‘I was part of the team that brought Nismo to Europe on Juke and I was very proud to do that – we learnt a lot working very closely with our Nismo colleagues,’ he added. ‘In Japan we have a special-edition Leaf called the Leaf Aero Style, which is a more sporty package. One thing we certainly need to do is challenge perceptions and that’s also what Bladeglider is here to do – to challenge those perceptions.’

Electric cars: ripe for tuning

Dunsmore said that the company’s EVs were already quite sporty, with their electric take-off and maximum torque from standstill.

‘If you jumped into a Nissan Leaf and you’d never driven an electric vehicle before, I would challenge anyone to get out and say the car doesn’t have a sporty feel to it. The second you touch the accelerator, the instant torque and smoothness of acceleration, that is exciting, and well-suited to link up with things like Nismo.’

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By Gareth Evans

Contributor, historic racer and now running sister title Motor Cycle News's website