Video: Nissan Leaf Owners Go Autocrossing

No one with any knowledge of electric vehicles can deny the fact that electric motors hold a lot of performance potential. The instant and incredible torque produced by electric motors can produce some fun cars, such as the Tesla Roadster…though right now most automakers seem more concerned with range, not speed. But that hasn’t stopped some Nissan Leaf owners from taking their electric cars out on to the track for a little test and tune.

It’s no secret that the Nissan Leaf isn’t exactly a fast car…but then again, neither is the Mazda Miata, a car that has been the staple of autocrossing events since it debuted over two decades ago. With all that instant torque and a low center of gravity, the Nissan Leaf actually makes for a fun little autocross car, as the video below shows.

The aftermarket parts industry hasn’t exactly responded with much vigor for the Nissan Leaf, as there is no doubt a lack of demand for performance parts. However, the driver of this video got creative, no doubt borrowing parts from the Nissan Versa, upon which the Leaf is based. With the Tein spring and damper upgrades, the owner was able to make the suspension a bit stiffer, which results in a bumpier ride but much tighter handling.

With traction control off, the driver was able to complete the autocross course in about 47 seconds. That is faster than some cars, though most vehicles were completing the course were anywhere from 2 to 7 seconds faster. But if you ask me, anyone with the cajones to race a Nissan Leaf deserves a salute, and hopefully more EV owners will follow suit as electric cars catch on with the masses. Nissan has already taken a stock Leaf up Pikes Peak, and is working on a rear-wheel driving NISMO racing version of the Leaf. Eventually, Nissan and other automakers will start delivering affordable electric sports cars…and that is when the real fun begins.

Source: YouTube via Green Car Reports


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.