scorecardNissan showed off a stunning vintage pickup truck powered by the electric Leaf
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Nissan showed off a stunning vintage pickup truck powered by the electric Leaf

Tim Levin   

Nissan showed off a stunning vintage pickup truck powered by the electric Leaf
LifeThelife2 min read
  • Nissan showed off a stunning electric pickup truck with vintage looks.
  • It's a 1987 Nissan Sunny pickup powered by parts from the brand's Leaf electric car.

Electric trucks are all the rage, with brand-spanking-new models on the market from Ford, Rivian, and GMC.

But you know what's arguably cooler than a shiny, new electric pickup? A vintage one.

That's exactly what Nissan brought to this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) in Las Vegas. The Sunny Leaf project is a 1987 pickup with the guts of a modern Nissan Leaf.

It's meant to provide "inspiration as to how car enthusiasm can thrive in a future of electric vehicles," Nissan said in a press release. The pickup was built by South Carolina-based Tommy Pike Customs.

It's powered by the Leaf's motor, which delivers 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. That doesn't hold a candle to, for example, the 580 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque available in the Ford F-150 Lightning, but it's a whole lot more than the Sunny originally had. According to Nissan, the new electric restoration has twice the power and three times the torque of the Sunny's original four-cylinder.

The truck also retains the Sunny's manual transmission, which isn't typical of modern electric cars. They usually have just a single gear, so there's no shifting necessary. The Sunny gets numerous modifications, including a wide-body kit, LED lighting, and a new suspension.

As much as car companies have focused on developing new electric cars, they're also eager to be a part of electric restomodding (restoring and modifying) culture. For years, people have hacked together batter-powered classic cars in their garages. And a slew of new companies retrofit old cars with Tesla parts or off-the-shelf components.

Jeep brought an electrified version of its classic CJ utility vehicle to SEMA to showcase a future EV kit for vintage Jeeps. Last year, Ford launched an electric motor for DIY projects called the Eluminator. General Motors also plans to release an electric motor through its Chevrolet Performance division.




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