Video: Nissan Leaf NISMO Races Tesla Roadster

Earlier this month in Japan, the stars aligned and two of the fastest electric track cars in the world converged at the Sportsland Sugo Circuit. I am talking of course about Nissans Leaf NISMO RC and the Tesla Roadster. It was a 27 minute race of epic electric proportions, but there can be only one…

Before we get to the down-to-the-wire conclusion, first lets meet the competitors. Of course the Tesla Roadster was the debut electric car from Tesla Motors, with an estimated 248 horsepower and a 3.9 second sprint from 0 to 60 mph. That’s fast, Lamborghini fast.

But is it faster than a Nissan Leaf? Normally, yes, but the NISMO version of the Leaf is an EV on steroids. While the Nissan Leaf NISMO utilizes the same electric motor and battery, the body has been radically altered to lessen the weight and convert it to rear-wheel drive. It is in a sense a completely different car from the Nissan Leaf you see on the streets.

Yet when it came down to it, the Nissan Leaf NISMO RC couldn’t quite hang with the roadster. The Tesla came out on top, beating the Leaf over the course of the 50 kilometer, 14-lap race that lasted 27 minutes. But the Tesla didn’t win by much, taking victory home by a 9.77 second margin, and the Leaf still managed to set the fastest lap of the day. Sure, there were other EVs on the track that day, but no doubt all eyes were on these two competitors.

Now all Nissan has to do is making a fast, fun, rear-wheel drive Leaf at an affordable price. Then they’ll really beat the Tesla Roadster.

Source: Plug-in Cars


Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.