In a spin around the test track at Nissan's research facility in Oppama, Japan, the Leaf mule accelerated rapidly enough that within seconds of punching the accelerator my handler was asking me to slow down, onegai shimasu. I ran out of track before I could confirm this statistic, but Nissan says the Leaf's top speed is around 90 mph. The interior is attractive and subtly high-tech, with digital gauges and touch-screen navigation. It does look a little strange, and I haven't quite decided what to make of its combination of plain-Jane hatchback styling and odd design flourishes (the huge bubble headlamps, the oddly concave back end). But it's definitely a real car—this is not a prototype.