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Nissan Leaf Gets Stretched Into A Limo

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On: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 4:52PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Leaf Gets Stretched Into A Limo

The Nissan Leaf may not be the right choice for a taxi cab, where it would risk running out of power meeting the varying demands of street customers, but it could perform as a hotel limo, where specific guidelines could ensure that it never travels too far from home. At least one hotel in Nashville, Tennessee seems to think so.

We've heard whispers about a Nissan limo being designed in Missouri, but this is the first time we've seen a comment from Nissan on it. In a press release, the automaker quotes a hotel executive in calling it "the world's first road-worthy, licensed, street legal electric limousine."

The Embassy Suites Nashville South plans to use the eight-person Nissan limo as a shuttle vehicle. The hotel's average shuttle trip is less than five miles, so the Leaf's range limitation shouldn't be a problem. The hotel calls it a VIP shuttle for guests looking for something special.

The standard Leaf gets up to 100 miles of range, according to Nissan, but with its added size and weight, the Limo likely gets significantly less. It appears the limo uses the same motor and battery as the standard Leaf, but it does get some limo upgrades like plush leather and wood trim.

Nissan doesn't specify what company designed the limo, saying simply that the company is in Missouri. Past reports have revealed that Springfield, Missouri-based limousine outfitter Imperial Coach Builders was working on a Nissan Leaf limo, so we'll assume this is the one. Imperial quotes a 100-mile range on its Leaf limo, but we find that a little hard to believe without third-party verification.

Outside of attracting attention for both Embassy Suites and Nissan, a Leaf limo seems like a strange thing to spend money on. The Leaf's electric powertrain provides modest performance in the small hatchback, why dilute that performance with a big, heavy limousine frame? On the plus side, it'll sit on the opposite end of the eco scale from those gawdy stretched Hummers.

It seems like the hotel would be better served by a more traditional shuttle vehicle. Then again, no one would be talking about it if that was the route it went.

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