The Nissan Leaf is a nice little electric car, but doesn’t quite compare to this custom-built 1987 Nissan Sunny Pickup EV. At the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, Nissan unveiled this stunning EV conversion powered by the electric motors of the Leaf is driven.
Instead of your typical LS swap, this is a leaf swap truck designed to showcase two different eras of the Nissan brand. It pays homage to the old Datsun race trucks, all red, white and blue, and features an all-electric powertrain.
The 1987 Nissan Sunny, owned and built by Tommy Pike Customs of South Carolina, replaced the small old gas-powered engine with a modern electric system. The truck is powered by the Nissan Leaf’s 40 kWh lithium-ion battery and delivers around 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque.
Due to the small size of the Sunny truck, Pike opted for the base electric motor and battery of the Leaf S, rather than the larger model of current Leaf electric vehicles. Even with that choice, this 1987 Sunny has three times the torque and almost twice the horsepower of the original that came out in the ’80s.
Better yet, this 1987 Sunny Pickup is right-hand drive with the original manual transmission inside. Thanks to the widebody kit and individual design, it looks stunning from the outside.
TPC (Tommy Pike Customs) also did an LED flash conversion, adding heavy rear leaf springs and front suspension from a Nissan 240SX with coilovers, disc brakes and more. It’s as modern as it gets while still having that classic ’80s race truck vibe.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen such a remodel from Nissan. Last year, the company unveiled a 1980s Altima EV that was also pretty impressive. Unfortunately, this is nothing more than an exciting concept for the SEMA show. Nissan announced no plans to offer a Leaf electric engine package for enthusiasts to create their own custom vehicles.
Ford has been debuting its E-Box Eluminator engine at the SEMA show for at least years, and we were hoping for a similar announcement from other manufacturers this year. Still, this all-electric 1987 Sunny Pickup Truck EV is one for the books.
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