Nissan to demonstrate electric racer in Adelaide

Rick Kelly with the LEAF Nismo RC and his Altima V8

Rick Kelly with the LEAF Nismo RC and his Altima V8

Nissan will pit its LEAF Nismo RC against an Altima V8 Supercar and a road-going GT-R in a series of ‘Time Attack’ demonstrations at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide.

Rick Kelly will take to the wheel of the zero-emissions vehicle, which has visited events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and Goodwood Festival of Speed since being unveiled at the New York Motorshow in 2011.

The car features the same drivetrain – an 80kw AC synchronous electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack – as the production LEAF.

A purpose-built, three-piece carbonfibre body, however, helps the RC weigh in at just 938kg; some 40 percent less than its brethren.

Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso will take turns in racing against Kelly in the speed comparison, while Neil Crompton and Samantha Zanotto (nee Reid) will share the GT-R.

Rick Kelly’s chance to steer the RC follows his involvement in Nismo’s ill-fated Bathurst 12 Hour campaign earlier this month.

“It’s going to be an honour to be the first person to drive the Nissan LEAF Nismo RC in Australia,” said Rick Kelly.

“It’s a crazy time at the moment, having come from Bathurst in the GT-R, then testing our Altima V8 Supercar, and now I’m going to get the chance to drive one of Nissan’s ‘game changers’.

“The LEAF Nismo RC is a pure race car. It’s not going to sound like the racing cars we’ve all come to know, but the level of detail that Nismo has gone to in this car is amazing.

“I’m also excited by what the future holds in the automotive industry and it’s great to be a part of a manufacturer that is a leader in automotive innovation, and in particular electric-powered vehicles, and the LEAF RC is a perfect example of that.”

“I think the Adelaide fans will be blown away by its speed and I’m really excited to get behind the wheel of it at the Clipsal 500.”

Nissan with continue to showcase its electric technology at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, where it will campaign its petrol-electric ZEOD under the experimental Garage 56 entry slot.

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