Nissan announced it is testing electric four-wheel-control technology that will put power to the ground in a GT-R-like fashion. The Leaf-based test car promises to carve corners like its supercar sibling, seemingly bending the laws of physics in the process.
“Soon, Nissan will launch a next-generation EV that will be a true breakthrough,” said Takao Asami, senior vice president for research and advanced engineering at Nissan.
“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.”
We like where this is going.
In addition to precise control of the power metered to each individual drive wheel, Nissan says it’s also implementing a braking control system that will independently brake each wheel in order to achieve the driver’s intended line under hard braking, and when cornering near the vehicle’s limits of grip. In Nissan’s words, “the system applies independent brake control at each of the four wheels to maximize the cornering force generated by each tire. This lets drivers enjoy cornering that faithfully follows their intentions with minimal steering.”
The test car’s twin electric motors work together to produce 304 horsepower (227 kilowatt) and 501 lb-ft (680 Nm), which is a huge amount of power and torque for such compact, lightweight car as the LEAF. Of course, the addition of a large battery pack will add substantial weight to the car, but at least the weight can be placed low in the floor of the vehicle, enhancing its centre of gravity for further improved handling.
Interestingly, the test car is wearing larger rear tires (Front: 215/55R17, Rear: 235/50R17), indicating more torque is being sent to the rear wheels under acceleration – again mimicking the all-wheel-drive system of the legendary GT-R.
We’re very keen to see where Nissan goes with its electric four-wheel-control technology. We’re likely to see a performance iteration of the LEAF featuring this technology in due time. We suspect it will also be found in the next-generation GT-R, which is rumoured to be powered by a hybrid mix of V6 internal combustion and electric motors.
Clearly, and thanks in large part to its efforts in Formula-E, Nissan is giving us much to look forward to in the world of electric cars.
[Photo credit: Nissan]