Report: Nissan Confirms Limited Production of LEAF Nismo

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 21

The Nismo version adds only an aerodynamics kit and some fancy wheels to the standard LEAF.

There’s little information available, but according to Autocar, Nissan confirmed production of the LEAF Nismo, so it’s no longer only a concept.

The LEAF Nismo differs only slightly from the standard LEAF, so there’s not much to add in that regard.  It features a aerodynamic body kit that seems to nearly scrape the pavement, some fancy alloys and a few interior tweaks.  Performance remains the same as the standard LEAF, though drag may be reduced slightly, thus extending range a bit.

How's that road-scrapping body kit look to you?

Here’s the interesting bit: Nismo chief Shoichi Miyatani told Autocar that the LEAF Nismo will initially be offered only in Japan, but did say the automaker would gauge reaction to this modified electric hatchback before considering whether or not to launch it in additional countries.  So, it may be US bound if we show demand.

The LEAF Nismo will reportedly enter production this summer.   There’s no word yet on pricing or final specs for this slightly modified version of the LEAF hatchback.

What’s your take?  Should Nissan offer the Nismo LEAF in the US?  Or is demand likely to be too low for a vehicle as lightly modded as this one?

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21 responses to "Report: Nissan Confirms Limited Production of LEAF Nismo"

  1. FuglyHater says:

    Anything to get rid of that god-awful “carp mouth” on the lower front of the vehicle…

    I did prefer their Aero version, with the filled in flat hub caps (less drag / turbulence?) and cleaner looking front underskirt.

    How much extra do we have to pay for a slightly less fugly Nissan EV?

  2. David Murray says:

    This is definitely not the same as the concept car. The concept car has significant differences, including the placement of the battery in the rear (rather than under the car) and it definitely has faster acceleration than a standard Leaf.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      @ David

      You are mixing the LEAF Nismo Concept with the LEAF Nismo RC, a purpose-built LEAF racer that only shares the road-going LEAF’s powertrain and nothing else. Several other websites out there are making this same mistake. Here are a couple of links to the Nismo RC, it’s a track-only vehicle: http://insideevs.com/video-lets-lap-the-track-in-a-nissan-leaf-nismo-rc/

      http://insideevs.com/first-race-for-nissan-leaf-nismo-yields-second-finish-to-tesla-roadster-video/

    2. Brian says:

      What’s more, the concept had RWD. That would make a significant difference in performance alone.

      1. Eric Loveday says:

        Here’s Nissan full press blast from December 2011 when the LEAF Nismo Concept first debuted… Note that the LEAF Nismo Concept differs dramatically from the brief description provided (near the bottom) of the LEAF Nismo RC

        Nismo Concept shows the sporty side of LEAF
        Full body kit enhances style and…
        increases downforce for road hugging performance
        LED front lighting accentuates sense of motion
        Second Nismo Concept, following Nissan Juke Nismo Concept

        Nismo, the renowned motorsports arm of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., has revealed its second road car concept at this years Tokyo Motor Show. This time it’s the award-winning, game-changing, Nissan Leaf EV that has come under the Nismo spotlight.

        With 20,000 examples sold globally since the end of 2010 and with two international awards to its name, the Nissan LEAF has proved zero emission mobility is a practical reality. Now comes the Nissan LEAF Nismo Concept to show that electric vehicles can appeal to the heart just as much as to the head.

        Central to the Concept is the stylish body kit, which gives LEAF a purposeful new look. But the modifications have been made with more than just fashion in mind – they play a significant aerodynamic role, generating extra downforce at speed to enhance LEAF’s handling and grip.

        The major elements of the kit are the front aero bumper, rear under protector, rear diffuser, extended side sills and 18-inch alloy wheels. The front bumper incorporates LED lighting which is arranged transversely to accentuate a sense of motion.

        The body kit has been created as an extension of the `smart fluidity’ concept that shaped the standard LEAF. It harmonises with LEAF’s sophisticated design, which endows the car with advanced aerodynamic and acoustic properties, and takes advantage of the design freedoms of the EV layout: with no conventional engine to cover, the hood line is much lower and more streamlined.

        Extended side sills and the deeper bumpers front and rear emphasise LEAF’s low centre of gravity – made possible by the siting of the car’s lithium-ion batteries beneath the passenger compartment – as well as managing air flow over the body for the extra downforce. Unlike the standard car, which runs on 16-inch wheels, The Nissan LEAF Nismo Concept has 18-inch rims with lower profile tyres for added grip.

        Nismo has left LEAF’s electric drivetrain untouched. One of the features of the potent 80kW AC motor is the instant supply of full torque (280Nm)… and that provides acceleration that is genuinely electrifying. It reaches 100 km/h in less than 7 seconds and can sprint on to a top speed of 145 km/h.

        LEAF’s lithium-ion battery, which comprises 48 modules, provides a potential range of 175km (NEDC mode) and can be recharged to full capacity overnight from a domestic electricity supply. It can also be charged to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes, using a Quick Charger.

        “Nissan LEAF has shown that zero emission mobility is no longer a dream but a reality. The Nismo Concept not only proves the hidden potential of Nissan LEAF but also adds even more excitement and energy to LEAF, delivering a guilt-free yet exhilarating driving experience that can be enjoyed by every car enthusiast,” said Hideaki Watanabe, Corporate Vice President, Nissan Motor Company and head of the company’s electric vehicle business unit.

        The Concept is not the first LEAF produced by Nismo. In April 2010, Nissan revealed the LEAF Nismo RC, an out and-out electric racing car, at the New York Motor Show. Although sharing a similar silhouette to the standard road car, the LEAF Nismo RC has a three-piece carbon fibre bodywork with removable front and rear sections attached to a central monocoque tub.

        The chassis has double wishbone suspension front and rear, while its racing credentials are underlined by the large wing bolted to the back.

        Lower, shorter and lighter than the standard car and with rear- rather than front-wheel drive, the LEAF Nismo RC does, however, share two important components with both LEAF and LEAF Nismo Concept – the standard 80kW electric motor and the complete lack of a tailpipe.

  3. GeorgeS says:

    Sure, definitely offer it in the US, it’s just an aero kit! Make it available on special order or keep one in the show room. I don’t think fugly. Funky is more like it.

  4. taser54 says:

    Not a fan of this or the leaf exterior design; however, anything that spurs sales to get more EVs on the road is a plus.

  5. shawn marshall says:

    Would cannibalize its own market share.

  6. BlindGuy says:

    I wouldn’t want a car with more scrape potential. If I were going to spend more $, I would want more range using a combination of more battery while cutting weight in other areas or better yet, adding a small generator in the back to be able to use all of my battery without anxiety. The small RE doesn’t have to be meant for long trips; just let people use all their battery and still get home safely. JMO Don’t forget: KISS to minimize problems and keep it more affordable for the masses.

  7. Herm says:

    Perhaps the dealerships should sell/install the body kits, without warranty from being so low to the ground.. offer a couple different options etc

    1. Jay Cole says:

      If I was 16 again, I would so be all over this!

      1. GeorgeS says:

        you are a lot closer than I am, go for it!

  8. Dave R says:

    What I would like is a fully functional body kit that reduces drag for higher efficiency and longer range.

    If it looks better – nice.

    As a hatchback, most of the drag is coming from the high roofline. Build a body kit with as long a down sloping spoiler as possible to drop the rear without compromising visibility. Do the same for the bumper valence but sloped up. For the front bumper, integrate an active grill shutter. Lower the entire vehicle – it has more than enough ground clearance for a city car. Finally, some aero wheels to top it off, but keep them stock width and don’t exceed 17″.

    1. GeorgeS says:

      Yeh maybe some moon hubcaps!

  9. Jim says:

    I wish Nissan would add an option for a small generator to run on gas and produce electricity for an extended range, like the one being developed for BMW. This option would make the car practical as a first car for virtually every driver, city or country. I’d definitely buy one.

    1. Delta says:

      Why can’t some enterprising third party develop this. You just need a modified Honda generator that would kick in when you need it.

    2. Mark H says:

      You already have this in a number of EREVs entering the market with the most notable being the best selling American EV the Chevy Volt. Drives 38 miles on electricity and then the generator kicks in to go another 300 miles. If it is labeled a “BEV” , it is pure electric. If it is labeled an “EREV” it will have a gas generator. The BMW is the first that I know of to offer both.

  10. Open-Mind says:

    I don’t get it. The Leaf Nismo is a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

    I’d rather have a quick car that looks slow (Spark EV) than a slow car that looks fast (Leaf Nismo).

    1. GeorgeS says:

      I bet this little Spark ev will be fun to drive around town. I’d have my foot in it around every corner!

      1. Open-Mind says:

        Ditto. 🙂

  11. kdawg says:

    Made in Tennessee?