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Here’s another unlikely racer – the Nissan LEAF electric car. No, the “RC” in the name doesn’t make this a toy, but it stands for “Racing Competition”. This NISMO fettled EV racer is set to debut at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. It will likely make special demo appearances at various motorsports venues in 2011, as Nissan explores a pioneer zero emission competition spec series in future years.

This LEAF is unlike any other, starting with its full carbon fiber monocoque bodywork. The three-piece bodywork includes removable front and rear sections, fixed windows, LED headlights and taillights and driver-adjustable rear wing. There are two doors less than the road version, too.

Dimensionally, the race car features a 9.9 cm shorter wheelbase, is 2 cm longer and 17 cm wider. It also sits more than a foot lower than the production LEAF and ground clearance is limited to 6.1 cm, compared to 16 cm for the road car. And at just 938 kg, the race car weighs about 40% less.

Inside, you won’t find rear seats, a trunk, audio system, navigation and carpeting, but a battery pack, electric motor and inverter located in a mid-ship position. Like the production LEAF, the NISMO RC is powered by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules and a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that generates 107 hp and 280 Nm.

It can be charged up to 80% of full capacity in 30 minutes using the quick charging port located inside the rear cowl. Unlike other race cars, the NISMO RC has no tailpipe, no emissions and no sound.

The motor drives the rear wheels. The RC has all round double-wishbone suspension and driver-adjustable brake balance. It rides on 18-inch 6-spoke wheels and P225/40R18 Bridgestone racing rubber. In testing, it made the 0-100 km/h sprint in 6.85 seconds and a top speed of 150 km/h. Nissan says that it can run for 20 minutes under racing conditions.