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Boomer23
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Location: Orange County, CA

Deceptively fast?

Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:09 pm

Most of us who have our LEAFs seem to think that the LEAF is pretty quick off the line. Back last summer, Nissan claimed that the LEAF was as fast as a V6 Infiinti M35 up to 30 or 40 mph (I forget). I've seen comments that some of us think that we can beat almost anything off the line (we know that they'll catch up to us pretty quickly). I myself enjoy zooming off the line and realizing how small the rest of the cars become in the rear view mirror after just a few seconds.

So I was looking for evidence that this is true. I figured that this seat-of-the pants impression should show up as a fairly fast time up to 30 mph or so, and then tail off to the 9.4 seconds to 60 mph that we're aware of.

I wanted to get some comparisons of acceleration for "average" cars in these speed ranges. It turned out to be difficult to find acceleration results for "average" cars in recent magazines. Seems like they mostly want to test super cars these days. So I dipped back to a 1999 R&T issue and found a Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8 T with a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds and a comparo test of an Acura Integra GS-R, a Mitsu Eclipse GT, and a Toyota Celica GTS with similar 7 second 0-60 times.

The bottom line is that I can't demonstrate that the LEAF is faster, or even as fast as these cars at lower speed ranges.

So I'm going to conclude that it's the feel of instant torque and the quietness of the drivetrain that convince us that we're accelerating faster than we really are. Either that, or we need some measurements of time to distance rather than time to speed (would that show any different results?)

I'd love to see some video of timed drag races of a LEAF against some average commutermobiles. Anyone want to film some?

LEAF: R&T Feb 2011
0-20 mph 1.8 sec
0-30 mph 3.0 sec
0-40 mph 4.6 sec

R&T Nov 1999
VW New Beetle 1.8T
0-30 mph 2.3 sec
0-40 mph 3.8 sec

Acura Integra GS-R
0-20 mph 1.6 sec
0-40 mph 4.0 sec

Mitsubishi Eclipse GT
0-20 mph 1.4 sec
0-40 mph 3.9 sec

Toyota Celica GT-S
0-20 mph 1.3 sec
0-40 mph 3.8 sec
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TEG
Posts: 1388
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:43 pm

Re: Deceptively fast?

Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:18 pm

Sorry, I don't have exact data, but compared to other 0-60 in 7ish cars I have owned the Leaf feels quicker in the 15mph-40mph range, but then starts to drop off noticeably. I think your perception is right that the Leaf is better than average at lower speeds, but then as you start to get closer to freeway speeds it falls behind. So the idea of you pulling ahead of someone only to have them soon pass you up again is probably true. But if you are just driving around town at < 40MPH then it is ahead of the pack.

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EVDRIVER
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Re: Deceptively fast?

Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:40 pm

The Acura GSR (owned one) is a high RPM motor that really needs to rev to get any torque, the fact that it beats the LEAF to 40 shows your idea of perception of speed is more of the reality here. Nissan over hyped the 0-60 of the car and the low speed numbers. My 4200 lb V6 truck will crush the LEAF off the line and from there on. The LEAF motor has high torque but low HP, like running in 4WD low but it is still not very quick off the line. I think the NIssan Execs finally realized their comments were based on perception rather then reality, I think the LEAF would have been a much better EV had a few Nissan Execs drove the early models and had more EV experience, saying it was faster then a GTR was dumb.

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Boomer23
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Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 9:57 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Mar 2011
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:02 am

I guess that we should continue to drag race against other drivers who don't know we're racing, huh? That turns out to be fairly impressive every time. Plus, there's no way to rev a LEAF to get their attention. :)
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DaveEV
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Location: San Diego

Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 12:44 am

Boomer23 wrote:So I dipped back to a 1999 R&T issue and found a Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8 T with a 0-60 time of 7.1 seconds and a comparo test of an Acura Integra GS-R, a Mitsu Eclipse GT, and a Toyota Celica GTS with similar 7 second 0-60 times.
Keep in mind that the results for these cars are all most likely manual transmissions which require a decent amount of skill and a certain amount of abuse to produce those types of performance figures.

Your average Joe isn't going to be able to get close to those numbers.

Even when testing automatics the magazines will use left-foot braking to load up the torque converter when launching - who does that in real life?

In contrast - all you have to do w/the LEAF is floor it.

JohnnySebring
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:13 am
Delivery Date: 10 May 2011
Leaf Number: 0457
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:15 am

I was in the left lane at a stop light when a guy in a red mid 2000 something Mustang pulls up next to me in the right lane. His lane is blocked by parked cars ahead about mid block so I know what he wants to do. I couldn't resist the Leaf launch and shut the door on him.
Mustang guy was very pissed off, and when he got around the parked car and i slowed for the red light ahead, he swerved at me, and pulled in front of me. After the finger, he backed into my Leaf! Fortunately it only damaged the license plate. What a sore loser you are Washington plate number 333 NII. :D :D :D

thankyouOB
Posts: 3583
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Leaf Number: 1442
Location: Coastal LA

Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:20 am

JohnnySebring wrote:I was in the left lane at a stop light when a guy in a red mid 2000 something Mustang pulls up next to me in the right lane. His lane is blocked by parked cars ahead about mid block so I know what he wants to do. I couldn't resist the Leaf launch and shut the door on him.
Mustang guy was very pissed off, and when he got around the parked car and i slowed for the red light ahead, he swerved at me, and pulled in front of me. After the finger, he backed into my Leaf! Fortunately it only damaged the license plate. What a sore loser you are Washington plate number 333 NII. :D :D :D
you have big a-holes in WA?
may reserve/delivery 4/30/11
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TomT
Posts: 10649
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Leaf Number: 000360
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Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:30 am

Perhaps he wasn't planning on racing you and just assumed that you would be courteous and let him in, which you weren't and didn't... I pretty much think if racing had been his original intent, he could have blown the doors off of you. Even a V6 automatic late model Mustang is faster to 20 and 30 than the Leaf according to R/T and C/D...

JohnnySebring wrote:I was in the left lane at a stop light when a guy in a red mid 2000 something Mustang pulls up next to me in the right lane. His lane is blocked by parked cars ahead about mid block so I know what he wants to do. I couldn't resist the Leaf launch and shut the door on him.
Mustang guy was very pissed off, and when he got around the parked car and i slowed for the red light ahead, he swerved at me, and pulled in front of me. After the finger, he backed into my Leaf! Fortunately it only damaged the license plate. What a sore loser you are Washington plate number 333 NII. :D :D :D
Leaf SL 2011 to 2016, Volt Premier 2016 to 2019, and now:
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trentr
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Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:43 am

I had an Integra Type R for 11 yrs. I would say, 0-35 or so the LEAF will blow it away easily. However, in a quarter mile, the Type R will be faster that the LEAF, by a wide margin. The Type R needs to be launched at around 3K rpm or so, then switch gear at the redline around 8500 rpm from then on. Launching it at that rpm is tricky, since the front wheels tend to skid and hop, need to have good tires. Too bad I sold it already, I would like to drag race a LEAF( in the track of course).
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Bud
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Re: Deceptively fast?

Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:22 am

Except for the wheel spin, I like that is QUIET from take off. No waiting for the revs to build or loud air sucking manifold and exhaust. Easy to go quickly without drawing undue attention (police) when accelerating. Queued up waiting to turn left into high school to drop daughter off yesterday and beat the opposing driver across intersection without waking the neighborhood or the cemetery.
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