Back in October 2017, soon after the reveal of the second-generation version of the Japanese automaker’s electric hatchback (which has yet to arrive in South Africa), Nissan took the wraps off its Leaf Nismo Concept. And, turns out, the brand is actually building it, with the production version you see here set to hit the Japanese market at the end of July 2018.
Nismo, which for the uninitiated is Nissan’s motorsports and in-house tuning division, has handed the electric Leaf a “custom” ECU set-up for “more responsive acceleration” (though it doesn't detail a change in output nor performance figures), as well as added fresh Continental ContiSportContact 5 tyres and uprated suspension for “improved handling and ride comfort”. Naturally, some styling tweaks have also been made.
For instance, the new Nissan Leaf Nismo gains the characteristic layered double wings of Nismo-badged road cars, which the automaker says improve downforce without compromising the vehicle’s drag coefficient, as well as a model-specific grille, front bumper, rear bumper, side-sill protectors and the requisite badging. Fresh 18-inch alloys (which “minimise air resistance”) have also been added, along with more LED lighting.
Nissan says nine body colours, including Nismo favourites such as brilliant silver/super black two-tone and dark metal grey/super black two-tone, will be offered in Japan. Inside, you’ll find plenty of custom red accents as well as a “carbon-like” finish for the instrument panel and a gun-metal chrome finish for the electronic gear-selector.
The Leaf Nismo furthermore gains specific tuning for its electric power steering system, traction control system and anti-lock brake system. Uprated shock absorbers have also been fitted.