We might not have asked for a high-performance version of Nissan’s humble EV, but it looks like we’re getting one according to Autocar. The rumored Nissan Leaf Nismo has just been confirmed for production at the Tokyo Motor Show along with the unveiling of a concept version of the car giving us an idea of what to expect from the production model.
We don’t know anything about performance or mechanical improvements to the Leaf Nismo over the standard model, but the concept tells us a bit about the new aesthetic. While it looks decidedly sportier, it’s also a bit generic in its upgrades with a new body kit, different wheels, some red trim, a black stripe on the hood, and not much else.
The Nissan Leaf Nismo is not to be confused with the upcoming Leaf E-Plus scheduled to arrive in 2019. The Leaf E-Plus will have bigger batteries for longer range and a stiffer structure. Since a Nismo variant is coming to the regular Leaf, we would be surprised if the Leaf E-Plus didn’t get the Nismo treatment as well. Perhaps a Leaf Nismo RS?
The confirmation of the Nissan Leaf Nismo raises an important question: Are more Nismo cars in Nissan's lineup always a good thing? We’ve been pretty outspoken here at The Drive about the current state of Nissan’s performance division and how underwhelming cars like the Nismo variants of the Sentra and the Juke are cheapening the once-sacred badge. It’s hard to imagine the Leaf Nismo making that problem better rather than worse, but we’ll hold off on optimism until we get more details and have a chance to drive one.