Nissan Nismo Leaf RC: What Does it Mean for the Future?

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Nissan Nismo Leaf RC EV Prototype is here. And we really hope this vision trickles down to something fun.

This was not the Nissan Leaf you were expecting, was it? Well, this car is known as the Nismo Leaf RC and there are just six on the entire planet. Two in Europe, two in Japan and two here in the States. Forbes recently got a chance to get behind the wheel of one in Japan. They got to push the gorgeous EV to Nissan’s allowable limits, in an effort to make the rest of us insanely jealous.

The Nismo Leaf RC shares parts with the more sedate Leaf. But it features dual motors with each one affixed to an axle, giving the prototype all-wheel drive and aggressive cornering capabilities. Thanks to the electric motors producing a combined 322 horsepower and 472 lb-ft of torque, this new Leaf RC shoots past the previous iteration introduced in 2011 that only did half of those numbers. What’s the 0-60 for this stunning EV coupe? How about a quick 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 135 mph.


According to Nismo COO Motohiro Matsumura, Nissan has “developed the RC to try to give people and the media a taste of the pointy end of the EV business, the quick, racy end. As you know, there are no fully electric models in our lineup that sit between the basic Leaf and our top-end Formula E race car. That’s a sizable gap, you know. So we wanted to build a car that could approach the acceleration and handling levels of the Formula E car, just to show the full potential of EVs.”

Will this translate into Nissan giving us more fun options?

Nissan producing these Nismo Leaf RC prototypes is akin to Toyota creating the LFA. The distinct difference is that Toyota was so hellbent on showing folks they still have performance magic in them that they built the LFAs at a loss. While it is awesome to see the innovation that is happening inside the walls of Nissan, it would be more meaningful if that same gumption made its way to the assembly lines and showrooms.

Nissan, we love you. We know that you have to make crossovers to keep the lights on, but please don’t forget about all of the enthusiasts that grew up with fantasies of owning cars, like the Z, Silvia, and of course the Skyline GT-R. We know the advent of the electric car is upon us. But rekindle that old fire and let it burn into the next chapter of the motoring world with a no-nonsense EV sports coupe. Hell, we’ll even point you in the direction of something we would all love to see it as:

To read the full writeup of all the fun Forbes had driving the Nismo RC Leaf, just click here.

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