Silence is Golden – Nissan LEAF

The times they are a changing, and the archetypal growling car engine as an indicator of engine performance (bear with me here) may be no exception.

The electric car, despite being oh, you know, something of a game-changer, is yet to stick with the petrol-heads, the clue being in the name. The general consensus amongst the boy racers seems to be that the electric car just can’t offer the level of power and quality of drive that the old faithful V6s and their ilk have been known to provide when slinging the motor over a hairy country road.

But what sci-fi fantasy involves great big lumbering choking cars? It’s all about the silent, graceful hovering and soaring in-between gigantic animated billboards in a Tokyo/New York hybrid, no? Perhaps I’ve seen Blade Runner too many times, but the sentiment remains. Quiet is optimum.

Nissan are out to set this in stone, with the 100% electric LEAF. They’ve managed to combine the quietness of the electric car to almost stealthy levels, balanced with great performance. To prove both, they set themselves a little challenge – to drive the cars at full movie car-chase speed, through one of the quietest villages in Europe, in dead of night, and not wake a single person up.

You can find out how they got on with the challenge here. It’s a tall order, in an exceptionally sleepy (in all senses of the word) village, with some seriously charged driving. Did they manage to make it round the course and keep it down to the tune of less than 1100 decibels? See for yourself!

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