Baby GT-R? This Nissan Leaf Prototype Has AWD, a Wide Body and Over 500 Lbs-Ft of Torque
While the Nissan Leaf electric car definitely gets some credit for being the first mainstream EV to go on sale, it's never really been a car to get the attention of the enthusiast market, at least not in the way Tesla and some of the other higher-end EVs have.
Nissan, however, has a prototype Leaf test vehicle running around that's packing not just some more aggressive bodywork, but also an all wheel drive system and a substantial increase in both horsepower and torque.
Unlike the production Nissan Leaf which uses a single electric motor driving just the front wheels, the test car uses a dual motor setup driving all four wheels, and the result is a massive increase in performance when compared to the normal car.
The test car makes 308hp to be exact, and even more impressive it makes just over 500 pound feet of torque—with the same instant powerband that gives EVs their extremely quick acceleration figures.
Equally important is the work Nissan says it's put into the car's drivetrain. Torque spread can be optimized between the four corners and independent brake control also improves the car's cornering ability. It actually sounds a lot like a modern electric version of the ATTESA E-TS made famous by the Skyline GT-R.
In addition to the dramatically improved performance and traction, the car has also been fitted with a set of widened fender arches to better fit the staggered 17" RAYS Volk Racing TE37 wheels which give the Leaf a bit of a tuner car look.
Unfortunately this test car doesn't actually preview an upcoming AWD hot hatch version of the Nissan Leaf. Instead, the existing Leaf is being used as a testbed for Nissan's next generation of higher-end EVs, including the Ariya Concept we just saw at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Whatever form they may end up taking, we are certainly down with seeing Nissan channel some of the GT-R's spirit in its upcoming electric vehicles.
If you prefer your fast Nissans to be powered, you can also check out the details on the updates 2020 GT-R right here.