In an attempt to answer a question that nobody asked, Autocar decided to try and drift a Nissan Leaf.
A front-wheel-drive car is far from being what you would call drift material, let alone an electric hatchback like the Leaf which lacks a hydraulic handbrake. British magazine Autocar decided to prove us all wrong and demonstrate Nissan’s EV can actually go sideways on a track which is why the magazine’s Matt Prior took it to the British Drift Championship.
To try and make the Leaf a bit more tail-happy, Autocar fitted the electric compact Nissan with plastic rear tires. Other than that, the EV was purely stock. A more than decent effort during the very first attempt, the Leaf entered the corner at about 43 mph (69 kph) and as you can see it started dancing on the track. Later on, Matt tried it again while doing about 50 mph (80 kph) and the end result was not too shabby.
Not all attempts were entirely successful, though. An unexpected 360-degree spin ended with some minor damages to the rear-right wheel, but it was all in the name of trying to prove an electric FWD car can go sideways, sort of.
That being said, people are not buying the Leaf because it’s a pseudo-drift car with zero emissions. They buy it thanks to its 107-mile (172-km), EPA-rated electric range for the 2016MY which welcomed a larger 30-kWh battery. You can still buy it with the smaller 24-kWh pack that will have enough juice for about 84 miles (135 km).
If these numbers are not enough to cure your range anxiety, the second-gen Leaf will double the range, according to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in a 2014 interview with Tokyo’s Business News Channel. As a matter of fact, he said the next iteration of the Leaf will do more than 248 miles (400 km).