Nissan's "Nissan Futures" event,
the company revealed a quick photo of the Leaf Nismo Concept that would be shown at the
Tokyo Motor Show. Now the company has finally released official photos of the sporty Leaf, along with some details about what has changed. It sounds fairly promising.
Obviously the bodywork has been tweaked. We're pleased to say that
our renderings weren't too far off. The main differences were red accents instead of blue, a big black stripe on the hood, and actually more conservative bodywork. That's somewhat understandable, though, since Nissan probably wouldn't want to change to aerodynamics, and in turn the range, any more than necessary. According to Nissan, the new bodywork does help fight lift. It also looks suitably sporty and aggressive without being over-the-top.
The exterior is matched by a sportier interior. It's finished in black with red-painted accents and red stitching throughout. The seats appear to be more bolstered and supportive than the standard units, perfect for enthusiastic driving. It also gets a flat-bottom steering wheel with a center stripe and some suede accents.
But the most important parts for creating a Nismo model are the mechanical ones. For the Leaf Nismo, Nissan upgraded the suspension for better handling, and added grippier tires. The powertrain computer has also been recalibrated and "delivers instant acceleration at all speeds." Nissan hasn't given any specifications as to how much power the Nismo's motor produces. We suspect that the retuned computer just improves throttle response.
The Leaf Nismo is officially called a concept, however the changes appear quite mild and production friendly. As a result, we would be surprised if it didn't reach production. We also would expect the Nismo to use the motor and battery pack from the upcoming "e-Plus" model which will have more power than
the 147-horsepower standard model, and should deliver a range of about 225 miles.