Nissan has released a “Sport” version of their electric hatchback, the Leaf, with the help of its in-house tuner Nismo. Years ago, when we were looking at the Nismo badge, it was placed on serious performance cars, such as GT-R Nismo. However, this car has nothing in common with the “Godzilla”.
This car is a Japan exclusive and we shouldn’t expect to see it on the European, American or any other market. However, it could preview the look of a Nismo trim variant that could make it to these markets.
This is basically a stock front wheel drive 2018 Nissan Leaf, powered by a 147 horsepower electric motor. It is packed with a stock 40kWh battery pack, so there is not much space for a better performance.
The Nismo has only tweaked the powertrain software to deliver a more responsive acceleration. It will improve the standard car’s 7.9 sec 0-62 mph time, but it will be again far away from fast and sporty. The official performance figures are still not known.
Other changes fall into the appearance category. The tuner added 18in wheels with Continental ContiSportContact 5 tires, different dampers, and an altered electronic stability control system to make the car feel sharper and more eager on the road.
The most significant changes are Alcantara sections on the steering wheel, red trim, different gauges, as well as a “carbon fiber” finish on the dashboard. The exterior was made more sporty with a help of a new front grille, bumpers, contrasting colors, rear diffuser, and a Nismo badge. You will probably need some of these futures when you drive faster than this Leaf can go, so you will hardly take the advantage out of them.
Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan design chief, stated that a “racier” Nismo Leaf would be produced to provide the second-generation electric hatch with a halo model. He said this would help to make the car popular since the previous wasn’t that successful.