Yokohama, Japan - This mildly tweaked second-generation Leaf concept is important because it’s Nissan performance arm Nismo’s first attempt at a hot (well, warm, anyway) version of an electric car.
The Leaf Nismo concept will premiere at the Tokyo motor show on 25 October; it has the same front-mounted 110kW/320Nm electric motor and 40kWh battery as the standard Leaf 2.0, revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September - but with its computer software reconfigured to deliver instant acceleration at all speeds.
Which is likely to reduce its range significantly if used over-enthusiastically but will certainly up the Fun Factor…
The concept also features sports-tuned suspension and high-performance tyres to make the added zip more usable, and an aero kit which, according to Nismo, reduces lift without adversely affecting the Leaf’s drag coefficient.
The sporty all-black interior trim features Nismo’s signature red accents, while the electronics suite has all the new Leaf’s hi-tech ProPilot features, including lane-keeping assist, fully automated parking and the rather oddball e-Pedal, which uses a single rocking pedal to start, accelerate, decelerate, stop and hold the car.
OK, there’s a real brake pedal as well, for use in what Nissan politely calls “aggressive braking situations”, but the idea is, as far as possible to conserve energy whenever possible by using it to charge the battery, rather than wasting it as heat in conventional braking.
Nissan has promised that there will be a production version of the Leaf Nismo 'eventually', but there's no word as to when.