While the standard version of the new Nissan Leaf is much improved in its own right, the Japanese car manufacturer has already revealed a more potent specification of the electric vehicle.

Finished in a two-tone black and white paint job with red accents aplenty, the Nissan Leaf Nismo – at least on the exterior – looks the part. Now the sporty EV has made its official debut at the 2017 Tokyo motor show.

A beefier front bumper with added spoiler lip gives the Leaf some much-needed aggression – no hair shirt and sandals here. Bigger mesh pieces can be found on the trim and horizontal LED lights replace the trapezoidal clusters found on the standard Leaf.

Nissan Leaf Nismo concept
Nissan Leaf Nismo concept

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With new Nismo-branded wheels, high-performance tyres and a slightly lowered ride height, the profile of the new Leaf concept also looks much different. The sporty electric hatch gets a stiffer suspension setup for a more sporting drive. At the back of the car, a more aggressive diffuser and a centre-mounted fog light lend the Leaf Nismo a racy air.

Inside, the Nismo-fettled Leaf gets a few updates such as red accents around the air vents, red stitching on the upholstery, and even a 'Nismo' starter button, but goes mostly unchanged from the standard version. Apart from the minor styling tweaks, Nissan says the car aims to provide 'instant acceleration at all speeds' thanks to tweaks to the powertrain's ECU.

Tokyo rumours have suggested that Nissan plans to expand the Leaf range further, using the platform to develop a new all-electric SUV, but no official details have been forthcoming. 

Gallery: Nissan Leaf Nismo concept