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WATCH | Eden Hazard gets to grips with Nissan's EVs on track

2020-07-30 16:00

Sean Parker

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard. Image: TnA

• Nissan Formula E driver Oliver Rowland and Real Madrid footballer Eden Hazard hang out with the brand's EVs

• Hazard is a Nissan brand ambassador and got to grips with the Leaf e+ and Leaf RC at the Jarama circuit 

• Watch the footballer test his driving skills with the carmaker's latest EVs 

Nissan called in a favour with Real Madrid footballer Eden Hazard recently and invited the Belgian to the Jarama circuit in Madrid to experience the brand's electric vehicles. 

And the football star had access to the entire fleet, including the race cars. He was joined by Nissan's Formula E driver Oliver Rowland to show him the ropes around the track. 

Called the 'ultimate EV experience', Nissan brought out all the big boys, including its Leaf RC (racing car) Nismo, Leaf e+ and Rowland's Formula E car. 

The Leaf RC packs not one but two Leaf 120kW motors, the 62kWH battery and can reach 100km/h from standstill in 3.4 seconds. The instant torque thrusts the Nismo mode off the line with intense ferocity. It looks good, but the front splitter, rear wing and air vents are there to make sure it cuts through the air at a rapid rate. 

In 2018, Nissan SA made history when they entered the first all-electric vehicle entered inro a Motorsport SA sanctioned event. Nissan product manager and test driver Janus Janse van Rensburg and obviously won its class, because it was the only car in it. 

Leaf e+

The Leaf e+ has a 62kWh battery that generates 160kW and a claimed 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds. 

Hazard loves the thrill of speed and Rowland loves football, so when the duo hung out it was bound to be funny and cool. Hazard loved every minute of the experience and was a great team player. 

The former Chelsea footballer was only allowed to drive the Leaf e+ and Leaf RC on track and it was clear he loved it. He admittedly said he was close to throwing up when Rowland was in the driver's seat. 

Nissan gave local journalists an opportunity to drive the Leaf (not the +) in 2019 and I was impressed despite the brief drive. It is powered by a 40kWh battery that develops 110kW/320Nm and boasts a 0-100km/h time of 7.9 seconds.

Nissan claim a range of 378km, and charging time to 80% (quick charging – 50kw) takes 40 to 60 minutes, while it’s of seven and a half hours from 0 to 100% with a 7kW wallbox.

I enjoyed how sharp the Leaf handled the twisty Rhodes Drive where I drove it and was impressed by how good it powered out of corners with a dollop of torque accessible instantly. 

Formula E

Rowland will get back into his day job on 5 August as the Formula E resumes after a lengthy break due to the Covid-19 outbreak. 

Organisers have devised a trio of double-headers comprising six races in nine days on three circuit layouts at the Templehof Airport in Berlin, Germany. 

Nissan made its all-electric racing debut in the fifth instalment of the championship in the 2018 / 2019 season and will race their Gen2 car that has over 250kW 0-100 kph in 2.8 secs and 280 kph top speed – the new cars bring yet more excitement to the championship. 

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