Published on June 30th, 2013 | by James Ayre


Nissan Leaf Gets Performance Boost (In Japan)

June 30th, 2013 by  

The details are still a little thin, but some improvements from Nissan’s motorsports adventures are looking to help boost the performance of the Nissan Leaf. For starters, the improvements are just being made for Nissan Leaf customers in Japan. More details:

The world’s best-selling all-electric vehicle — the Nissan Leaf — is now getting a significant overhaul in Japan. The introduction of the Nismo Performance Package there will improve the aerodynamics, driving performance, and the energy efficiency of the EV. The performance upgrades are the result of technology built up in Nissan’s Nismo motorsports division.

Image Credit: Nissan/Nismo

Image Credit: Nissan/Nismo

Image Credit: Nissan/Nismo

Image Credit: Nissan/Nismo

Nissan’s new Nismo Performance Package (NPP) will consist of several different modules which will improve various aspects of the vehicle. AutoBlogGreen has specifics:

The visual and aero changes include lightweight LMX6 aluminum wheels for around $450 each, as well as an add-on rear spoiler, front and rear bumpers and side skirts in the Aero Package (about $5,500 in fiberglass or $7,700 in wet carbon fiber). In addition, the $1,100 sports suspension kit incorporates reworked dampers and springs to improve handling while delivering a ride height that’s lower by 30 millimeters. The most interesting change, though, is the Sports Reset feature for roughly $1,400 US, which tunes the vehicle control module to both improve the driving characteristics that make it ‘possible to enjoy sports driving more’ and increase range.

The press release from Nismo doesn’t offer specifics with regard to the improved mileage, but it seems likely that if it’s being mentioned that it’s a notable improvement. No news yet on whether or not the Nismo Performance Package will be made available in the US or Europe.

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's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Bubba Nicholson

    Aero improvement is easy to attain on the Leaf. ALL FOUR wheels are in wide open wheel wells, after all. Then there’s that truncated rear end that should extend back swept into a boat tail. Basically the car could be larger AND more aerodynamic.

  • Others

    Why not they sell a model with a higher range for extra cost. Just like Tesla offers 2 models in 205 and 265 mile ranges.

    Some people may frequently drive 100 – 120 miles once or few times a week and may prefer a EV at that range.

  • nrmantena

    Even with all the improvements, Nissan Leaf will remain a city car with
    limited marketability. People in the US are looking for a Nissan PHEV that has a range of at least 450 to 500 miles. You can almost be certain that Nissan has the technology and the means to produce such a vehicle. The real question is: why Nissan is not making much noise about the now-proven hybrid technology and a PHEV (car) of it’s own?

    • Altair IV

      Can you provide support for any of the statements you just made?

    • Bob_Wallace

      200 miles is plenty. Almost no ICEVs have a 500 mile range. On an all day, 500 mile drive you’re going to stop once to refuel. And almost everyone will stop once to eat/pee/whatever.

      A 200 mile range with <20 minute, 90% fast chargers lets you drive 500 miles with two stops. With an EV you can plug in and go do something else while the car is charging.

      PHEVs are probably a limited time product. Once battery capacity climbs and costs drop most people will go for an EV over a PHEV.

    • Ross

      That’s old-think, that doesn’t stack up.

  • JamesWimberley

    It’ s implausible that you can have both sportier handling and better range at the same time, from the same battery pack.. More likely it’s either/or.

    • I don’t see why the two can’r delivered in the same package.

      My understanding is that ‘D’ Drive mode is sportier and ‘Eco’ Mode provides for more aggressive regen which helps with range.

      If the lightweight wheels save weight, that would also help with range.

      So there you have it a car that CAN go faster or a car that CAN go further.

    • Scyth3

      To be fair, aerodynamics drive a lot of that. Less wind resistance = less energy while driving and quicker 0-60 since you would use less energy. The lower stance and wind skirts are probably the bigger improvements. Let alone the weight reduction.

      If a Prius had the same shape as a Jeep, you’d see a large loss in fuel efficiency for instance.

    • Matt

      If you drop weight and improve aero you can get both.

    • Dan Hue

      What’s interesting with EVs is that they allow a much better control of speed/sportiness vs. efficiency, without complex mechanics (like variable valve timing, etc.). If I drive my Volt is sports mode, I can go just as far as in normal mode, as long as I don’t push it harder. There is a direct relationship between the demands on the car and the energy efficiency it delivers. This is in contrast with ICE cars, whose purpose dictates to some degree both their fuel efficiency and their performance.

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