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Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/17/17 1:49 p.m.

Yes, seriously, for real. Last night I picked up a new-to-me 2012 Nissan Leaf SL with 30,000 miles, and 800 miles on a brand new battery that was just replaced. It came with records, two keys, a set of wheels and tires from a 2016, two sets of factory floor mats, cargo cover, nice window tint, sunshade, trailer hitch, clean carfax, etc., along with 5 more years of battery warranty. The price? $8900. Yeah, that's real money, but then again I'd consider this a fairly real car. I looked at the bottom end of the market for a while, but figured spending an extra $2-$3k for a nice example would save me a bunch of money in the long run. 

Why? It made financial sense and I like it, plus I've always had a bit of a green bug. I wanted a real car with lots of luxuries, and I wanted it to be practical and cheap. Leafs check all the boxes quite well. Plus, zero maintenance, meaning I can focus on project cars instead of constantly working on my daily driver. 

Assuming I can figure out how to DC quick charge, it will be at the $2017 Challenge. Any bets on what it will run in the 1/4-mile?

mazdeuce MegaDork
10/17/17 1:53 p.m.

So, maybe could someone who has experience autocrossing a Volt maybe take a short spin in it maybe so that he could make an educated comparison? Maybe? 

Kreb UltraDork
10/17/17 1:59 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

1/4 mile's going to be ugly. 1/8 mile might be respectable. 

What's up with light beige upholstry? It looks like it will suck up every piece of dirt from a thirty-foot radius.   

Cool car btw.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/17/17 2:08 p.m.

Mazdeuce, maybe. We'll see. 


Kreb, the choices were beige or black, and being in Florida I hate black interiors. I literally searched for months to find this combination of options (every single one except leather, which I'm not a huge fan of), so I guess I'll just wash my hands before I drive it lol.

mazdeuce MegaDork
10/17/17 2:11 p.m.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
10/17/17 2:12 p.m.

That's a screamin' deal, even if it's for a fairly boring appliance. A new battery pack goes for at least $5k.

Ed Higginbotham
Ed Higginbotham Associate Editor
10/17/17 2:15 p.m.

So did anyone else spend way too much time behind the virtual wheel of one of these? Maybe at Brands Hatch?

Enyar Dork
10/17/17 2:18 p.m.

Sweet deal!


What's the plan for the trailer hitch?

tuna55 MegaDork
10/17/17 2:25 p.m.

Love those cars. Your 60' is going to completely outmatch the rest of the numbers.

Klayfish PowerDork
10/17/17 2:25 p.m.

Congrats!!  Brings back lots of memories (but mine was that bright blue color).  You'll love it!  As for 1/4 mile...yeah, not so much.  0-30 is a hoot riot, the instant torque is giggle worthy.  But above about 40mph, the acceleration drops like a rock. 

It's fun to learn how to drive it with just one pedal, don't use the brake unless you have to.  I don't recommend it if you're in traffic, it'll piss off the people behind you.

The steering wheel heater...it's possessed.  It'll get hot enough to make an omelette, then get cold and won't cycle back on.  It's a Leaf thing...best way to avoid it is to cycle it off and on manually as soon as it gets warm...though in FL you probably won't need it much. 

Stampie SuperDork
10/17/17 7:52 p.m.

I think my orange autocross 275s will look great on it. 

The0retical SuperDork
10/17/17 8:23 p.m.

So a set of R1 S's and get after it on the Challenge autocross course?

donalson PowerDork
10/17/17 9:16 p.m.

nice... I was looking at them not long ago... the prices around here in houston are pretty nice on them... if I was in a house and not apts we might have gone that way over the prius for the wife toaster... 

pimpm3 SuperDork
10/17/17 9:17 p.m.

I will have a set of 16x7 enkies with rs3's at the track that you can use if you let me take a hot lap around the autocross course with it.

If you want to get feisty I can throw a set of 15x7's with Hoosiers in the truck as well.

oldopelguy UltraDork
10/17/17 9:32 p.m.

Is there room in the back for an additional motor? You know, for traction in the snow and stuff...

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/18/17 6:28 a.m.

There is, and the Georgia Tech Wreck Racing team already offered to, uh, “upgrade” it for me. frown

Don’t worry, the trailer hitch it just for mountain bikes. I don’t intend to tow with this thing, though at 3500 pounds it’s nearly as heavy as my Trooper lol. 

I really do appreciate all the autocross rubber offers, but I think I’m going to keep this one off the track at the Challenge. I’ll have too much else to do and it will be too full of stuff. I may sneak out for a drag run, but that’s it. 

Relevant: https://www.caranddriver.com/features/the-nearly-10-g-nissan-leaf-getting-an-ev-to-grip-like-a-911-feature

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/18/17 6:29 a.m.

Oh, and if anybody needs a 240-volt outlet at the Challenge, just look for the white leaf. Odds are good I’ll be plugged into it. 

Erich UltraDork
10/18/17 7:04 a.m.

Did it come with an upgraded level 2 charge cable as well? The factory cables on these only work at 110-volts. 

Erich UltraDork
10/18/17 7:04 a.m.

Also, shameless plug for mine - I'm selling my 2013 Leaf SV in Michigan for significantly less than Tom paid for his. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/18/17 9:15 a.m.

No, but I ordered one and it should be at the hotel on Thursday. laugh

And yeah, I could have saved a few bucks, but wasn't willing to drive the van and trailer more than a few hours (I'm busy), and really liked the new battery with a warranty angle. There are better bargains out there.

sleepyhead HalfDork
10/18/17 1:19 p.m.
Tom Suddard said:

Assuming I can figure out how to DC quick charge, it will be at the $2017 Challenge. Any bets on what it will run in the 1/4-mile?

is it that no one has started making solar panel traction battery recharging windscreen covers... or that the ones on the market are ludicrously expensive?

Feedyurhed SuperDork
10/18/17 1:34 p.m.

I am very interested in EVs and could see myself getting one next year. My two biggest concerns with most of them are the distance per charge and (lack of) performance.  They of course are getting better in each of those categories as time and development go on. The new 2018 Leaf seems to check all the boxes.  Good call Tom and wise choice.

adam525i New Reader
10/18/17 2:08 p.m.

See this video for charging ideas in between runs if you do give it a go, not very green but gets the job done.




Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Digital Experience Director
10/18/17 3:09 p.m.

In reply to sleepyhead :

Unfortunately, it's not really practical. They'd rarely be pointed at an optimal angle, and there isn't enough realestate to deliver more than maybe 100 or 150 watts. That's enough to charge a battery to run a few RV lights, but not nearly enough to make my car drive to work and back.

SivaSuryaKshatriya New Reader
10/18/17 3:23 p.m.

Is it just me or is the front bumper off-color? Accident?

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