Nissan Built A 304 Horsepower Leaf Hot Hatch, But Won’t Sell It To You

It's a testing platform for Nissan's future EVs

Nissan Built A 304 Horsepower Leaf Hot Hatch, But Won't Sell It To You

When you see a Nissan Leaf Plus, one of the last things you normally think about is performance. Sure, it’s a perfectly fine electric runabout, but it’s not exactly dynamic, exciting, or fast. Ah, but it can be! We have the technology! More specifically, Nissan built this dual-motor Leaf with more than 300 horsepower. But there’s one catch — you can’t buy one.

This Leaf is a test bed for Nissan’s next generation of electric vehicles. Packing an electric motor on each axle, the total system output stands at 304 horsepower (227 kW) and a whopping 502 lb-ft (680 N-m) of torque. Not bad for a small hatchback like the Leaf. Naturally with its dual motor setup, this car has an electric all-wheel drive system. Not just that, but the company also uses independent brake control that lets the driver corner as easily as possible at high speeds.

Nissan’s vice president for Research and Advanced Engineering Takao Asami said, “Nissan plans to introduce the next generation of EVs in the near future. The new electric-drive four-wheel-control technology now being developed integrates Nissan’s electric propulsion and 4WD control technologies with our chassis control technology to achieve a huge leap in acceleration, cornering and braking performance, on par with the latest sports cars.”

Nissan’s latest EV concept

The company did just reveal the Ariya concept in Tokyo, shown below. It definitely carries over some of Nissan’s EV styling cues, but looks more dynamic than the Leaf we know now. Perhaps this powertrain will makes its way into the production model. If that happens, then we’d actually have another contender to take on cars like the upcoming Tesla Model Y.

One other interesting part of this hopped-up Leaf is on the inside. Rather than the standard infotainment screen, this car has a 12.3-inch infotainment unit. It shows the car’s torque distribution and g-forces, which ought to be a fun screen if this powertrain makes it through to production in future Nissan EVs.

To see where Nissan’s going, check out the Ariya concept below. Stay tuned to for more updates!