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by Jay Traugott
In an attempt to prove the Leaf EV can be a performance model, the Leaf Nismo will reportedly begin production this summer in Japan.
Love it or hate it, Nissan is a believer in its pure electric Leaf. Its rather stupid name aside, the Japanese automaker recently handed it off to its in-house performance division in order to turn it into something that could actually be appealing to enthusiasts. According to UK publication Autocar, Nismo chief Shoichi Miyatani confirmed that the Leaf Nismo would begin production this summer in Japan albeit in limited numbers.
As expected it will receive an aerodynamic body kit whose styling will resemble that seen on the Leaf RC race car, but will also include a set of new alloy wheels and various interior changes. For now, Nissan plans to launch the Leaf Nismo in Japan only. After judging sales there, a decision will be made whether or not to export it to Europe. Nothing has been mentioned so far regarding a possible future US launch but judging by slow sales of the base Leaf it's highly unlikely.