I’m not sure who was the first car reviewer or company to test their cars based on their acceleration from 0-60 mph, but it has since become the standard of the world. Nothing is more important to speed enthusiasts like myself than those first few seconds after takeoff. It doesn’t just have to do with the thrill though, as 0-60 mph can be a good gauge of a car’s highway merging ability. We all hate getting stuck behind the guy who proceeds up the on-ramp with all the speed of a Model-T.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; electric cars can, and should be fast. So it does not surprise me to hear that the Nissan Leaf can apparently go from 0-60 mph in just 7 seconds.
Nissan’s little electric car isn’t exactly built for speed, but rather commuting. That said, electric motors can deliver 100% of its peak torque at 0 rpm. That means from the moment you touch the gas pedal, all the power the car has is right there, ready to go. Even for a humble commuter like the Leaf, that is quite a bit of torque on tap. Going from 0-60 mph in just 7 seconds, as Green Car Advisor’s Jack O’Dell did, is a very respectable performance. He also tested out the top speed, which he says is a bit north of Nissan’s official 90 mph estimate (he got to about 92 mph).
Compare it to some other cars fuel efficient cars, and you’ll see what I mean. The Chevy Volt takes about 9-seconds, the Toyota Prius takes about 10 seconds, and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV takes almost 12 seconds to reach 60 mph. On the other end of the spectrum, the Nissan 370Z takes about 5 seconds, the Maxima takes about 6 seconds, and the Nissan Versa (upon which the Leaf is based) takes 9.5 seconds to reach 60 mph. So really, the Leaf is on the “faster” side of the 0-60 gauntlet, though I wouldn’t quite call it fast (especially since I haven’t had any seat time). Generally, anything that gets to 60 mph in 6 seconds or less has good performance, so the Leaf is right on the cusp.
As I was going down the 0-60 mph list though, I noticed most of the cars in this range are rather…boring. Why not compare it to something a little less sophisticated, yet a whole lot more exciting? Yes, I’d like to line up a Nissan Leaf against a 1967 Ford Mustang GT with the 390 V8 engine. I am a muscle car nut through and through, but I’d put my money on the Leaf, because it took the ’67 Mustang GT about 7.5 seconds to reach 60 mph according to multiple Internet sources. Ya, those original muscle cars weren’t that fast…they just felt fast. I should know, I own a 1969 Mercury Cougar (the “gentleman’s Mustang”.)
Yeah, I went there. The Nissan Leaf is faster than a ’67 Mustang. Anybody want to loan me a ’67 Mustang and a Leaf to prove it?
Source: Green Car Advisor