Could electric cars spawn their own racing series and be competitive amongst other petrol powered machines? That is a question Nissan seems willing to answer with its new Nissan Leaf NISMO RC race car. This may be confusing when first read, but this car is actually simpler mechanically than most of today’s race cars. Powered by a Lithium Ion battery and an Electric motor that drives the rear wheels, this “angry little leaf” generates 107 hp and 207lb-ft of torque. Now even though that may seem wimpy, the car only weighs 2068lb’s and can go from 0-60 in 6.8 seconds. Having a range of only 20 miles and a top speed of 90mph gives the impression that the car could not be raced in any race at all….Or could it? When taking the range and speed into consideration one may realize that one race in particular fits this car perfectly, the “Race to the Clouds” or Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Sitting on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb’s entry list for 2011 is …you guessed it, a Nissan Leaf driven by Traxxas TORC driver Chad Hord. Even though nothing is confirmed, all the puzzle pieces fit together for Nissan to race/test this car up Pikes peak. What event would be better suited for testing new technology Nissan might use in future electic racing cars than Pikes Peak? Nissan has stated at auto shows that they plan to run the car in “Unique competition events”. Well, Pikes Peak is definitely “unique”. Either way the 2011 PPIHC looks to be one of the best in the race’s storied history. I look forward to bringing more exciting news about the PPIHC in the near future. -Colin Brandt

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