VitaminJ
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:51 pm

Report from today's autocross with the Leaf. All in all was a lot of fun considering the intended purpose of the Nissan Leaf and the on-paper stats (107hp, 3400lbs). Running 225/45/17 BFG Rivals (the most competitive tire in the class) I was about 3 seconds off of a Mini Cooper S with decent tires and placed 13th out of 23. I was 4 seconds off the lead car.

The weight of the car and the open differential really hurt overall performance. Aftermarket suspension would help a lot, but only so much. Basically at low speeds the inside tire would spin like crazy unless you took care to feather the throttle. It is really odd not having engine noise as feedback, but on the other hand you can hear every little noise the tires make.

In the end removing the fuses for traction and stability control and ABS was key, the car will not let you throw it around like this with the systems enabled, and with them off I noticed no bad tendencies or problems except a bunch of warning lights on the dash. I have a Leaf Box but I unplugged it as not to introduce any unwanted tendencies not prepared for by the Nissan engineers.

We towed it 200 miles round trip otherwise it would not have been possible. We started at 100% charge and ended about 50% after about 10 minutes total of running! Nearest charger was L2 and 25 miles away.

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2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

VitaminJ
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:01 am

I created a thread to explain how I disabled ABS, VDC, and TCS: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=24738
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

VitaminJ
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:43 am

Over the 10 runs we had the car averaged 1.5 mi/kwh and we covered 10 miles total including rolling back to the paddock and ended with 50% charge :mrgreen:

Check out some action shots!

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Last edited by VitaminJ on Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

User avatar
1932highboy
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 2:13 pm
Delivery Date: 05 May 2011
Leaf Number: 1112
Location: Texas

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:23 am

Nice job and write Up! Do you plan to do any suspension work?
7 KW array

VitaminJ
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:19 pm

No, one of the reasons I bought the Leaf is that I wouldn't have to spend any money on it for 10s of thousands of miles. I put together the wheels/tires used and have already listed them for sale. It was a fun experiment but that's about it. I have a Mazda Miata that I play with normally. It's not a horrible car for auto-x but will never be competitive without stripping out the interior and ruining it as a daily driver.
2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

BuckMkII
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:29 am

That's great! Did the ten people you beat seem chagrined to have finished behind a Leaf? :D
2013 SV no QC, manufactured July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
on 9/29/17: AHr = 55.3; SOH = 84%; Hx = 81.6; ODO = 41,492
bar 12 lost 8/21/17

VitaminJ
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:46 am
Delivery Date: 07 Jan 2017
Leaf Number: 415775
Location: Morrison, CO
Contact: YouTube

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:30 am

Haha there were quite a few hurt feelings :lol: I beat 10 people in my class but my class was the slowest of all and also highly competitive. I ended up beating about 40 other drivers for the whole day! Like I said the Leaf is not completely horrible, I've definitely driven worse cars. It's way too heavy in stock form, though. It needs a limited slip differential also, however at least they built the car with equal-length driveshafts so the tire spin is pretty much identical cornering left to right.

Here are some more photos posted today:

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2013 Ocean Blue SV w/ QC and LED
- +0.2 mi/kwh Aeromods
- 2lb 5Ah LiFe 12v battery

pyromancy5
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:17 pm
Delivery Date: 01 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 337249

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:33 pm

If only we could find a way through software to tap into the extra power in the Leaf motor. From what I gather (there is a guy who swapped a Leaf motor into a CRX and designed his own controller) it's capable of 300+ HP.
2014 Leaf SL

BuckMkII
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:06 pm

VitaminJ wrote:Haha there were quite a few hurt feelings :lol:

Feel free to dish any stories!

Where is that track? I know nothing about auto racing except what's on the For Formula One's Sake podcast, but I grew up in Littleton so any Colorado trivia is of interest.
Last edited by BuckMkII on Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013 SV no QC, manufactured July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
on 9/29/17: AHr = 55.3; SOH = 84%; Hx = 81.6; ODO = 41,492
bar 12 lost 8/21/17

BuckMkII
Posts: 169
Joined: Sat May 06, 2017 8:04 am
Location: Seattle

Re: Autocross Event with my EV on race tires!

Thu Oct 19, 2017 4:13 pm

pyromancy5 wrote:If only we could find a way through software to tap into the extra power in the Leaf motor.

It would be awesome if there was an "overboost" button on the steering wheel that gave an extra , say, 50 or 70 foot-lbs of torque for one or two seconds followed by a short refractory period.
2013 SV no QC, manufactured July 2013
car grew up in San Jose CA, purchased 5/31/17 in Seattle
on 6/16/17: AHr = 56.4; SOH = 86%; Hx = 84.3; ODO = 39,250
on 9/29/17: AHr = 55.3; SOH = 84%; Hx = 81.6; ODO = 41,492
bar 12 lost 8/21/17

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