Nissan Leaf NISMO: specs, price and on-sale date

The good news is that there’s a high-performance version of the Nissan Leaf electric car. The bad news is that you can only buy it in Japan

Most people’s impression of an electric car isn't something quick and exciting to drive, but Nissan is trying to change that perception with the launch of the Nissan Leaf NISMO.

It’s the first time that NISMO – the company’s tuning and motorsport division – has worked its magic on an electric car. The result is a Leaf unlike any we’ve seen before, sharper to look at and sharper to drive.

Nissan Leaf NISMO styling

Just one look at the Leaf NISMO tells you this is a performance version of the famous electric car. The standard Leaf is a fairly conventional five-door family hatchback, but thanks to NISMO, it takes on a very different character.

That’s courtesy of lots of red details all over a decidedly sporty bodykit that includes more sculpted bumpers and deep side skirts. 

That sporty theme is continued inside, where NISMO's designers have added more bits of red trim, as well as some red stitching on the steering wheel.

Performance and handling

What may come as a surprise is that NISMO hasn’t felt the need to give the Leaf any more power as part of its work. Instead, it has tweaked the car’s electronic 'brain' to make it respond more sharply to the throttle.

It has also sharpened up the way the Leaf drives by upgrading the suspension and fitting a unique set of wheels and tyres. The electric power steering and Trace Control system have also been given a sportier feel.

Price and release date

Sadly, we don’t have a UK price for this sporty Leaf – not because Nissan hasn’t announced it, but because the company is only selling the Leaf NISMO in Japan and has no plans to sell it in the UK.