Nissan South Africa will make history next week by entering an all-electric vehicle in a Motorsport SA (MSA) sanctioned event. The Nismo Leaf race car (RC) will participate in the upcoming Jaguar Simola Hillclimb.

Electric cars are well-suited to hillclimb races due to the short nature of the event.

Leaf power

The first generation Nismo Leaf race car (RC) is powered by a completely standard 80 kW Leaf electric motor. To make it more suitable for track work the powertrain has been repositioned in the rear of the car and now drives the rear wheels.

Bespoke racer

While the motor is standard, everything else about the Leaf RC is bespoke. The one-off showcase was hand-built and its construction features aircraft-grade aluminium and carbon-fibre. Thanks to these lightweight materials total mass is quoted as just 930 kg.

The Nismo Leaf features fully adjustable brakes and suspension as well as semi-slick racing tyres.

Special training

The team from Nissan will work closely with MSA safety marshals and medics to train them on this new form of propulsion. Charging the 390 Volt battery requires a unique set of safety precautions, as do the extraction and rescue protocols should something go wrong in competition.

Landmark moment

It’ll be interesting to witness the Leaf taking to the Simola Hillclimb. Spectators will not be deafened by noise as the Leaf glides near silently up the 1,9 km course in what will be a landmark moment for local motorsport

You can read about Volkwagen’s all-electric racer that will tackle the Pike’s Peak Hillclimb later this year by clicking this link.

Also see Part 1 and Part 2 of the Jaguar event.

Spectator views of the launches and race participants.