Nissan’s futuristic, all-electric Leaf Nismo RC racecar lined up at the starting line in Australia, competing in the Nissan Time Attack at the Clipsal 500. Two other cars faced off against the zero-emissions Leaf Nismo RC, including a road-going GT-R and a Nissan Altima V-8 racecar.
Nismo built the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC with a carbon fiber body sitting on a custom chassis. Underneath is an 80 kW electric motor, which surges the 2068-lb featherweight racecar from 0-60 mph in 6.9 seconds. Top speed is just 93 mph.
As the starter flag waves and the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC takes off, there is a somewhat familiar ingredient missing from the racing atmosphere — sound. The commentators are amazed throughout the race at the Leaf Nismo’s ninja-like silence, and the contrast with the burbling grunt of the GT-R and the roar of the V-8 Altima is definitely comical.
“You’ve got to be careful in the pit lane when the Leaf is coming around,” says one commentator. “It’ll run you over — you can’t hear it coming!”
Nissan first showed the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC at the New York auto show in 2011, but the Japanese automaker has taken its all-electric race aspirations in other directions since then. Most recently, an all-electric-powered Nissan ZEOD RC racecar took a test run at Fuji Speedway, topping out at 186 mph. A hybrid version of the ZEOD RC, with a tiny, 400-hp 1.5-liter turbo-three engine, is poised to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
Watch the video below for the full footage of the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC in action.