The one-off Nissan Leaf Nismo RC looks quick inside and out. Low roofline, carbon fibre tub, double wishbones at each corner and serious brakes. The rear bodywork lifts off like it does on most purpose-built mid-engine race cars.
Underneath is a completely standard Nissan LEAF powertrain, including its batteries. The latter are stored in an enormous carbonfibre box that’s actually part of the tub. Its walls are almost an inch thick because the one thing that you don’t want in an electric car is the batteries being disturbed.
The Leaf RC feels like a racer to sit in. Lots of carbon, bucket seat, beautiful drilled pedals and an array of switches. Only two pedals because there is no clutch. No gearbox, either, apart from the single-speed reduction gear.
To start the machine you flick a couple of toggle switches. Behind you the inverter emits a whining noise. In truth a 6.0-litre Jaguar V12 motor at fast idle would sound better. Or a Fiat 500 Abarth. Or my dad’s old Suffolk Colt lawn mower.