After numerous leaks and rumors, Nissan has formally revealed the next-generation Leaf electric car. Nissan has turned over a new leaf with its pioneering electric car with a new design, new powertrain and tons of new technology.
Gone is the frumpy exterior design of the first-generation Leaf in favor a sleeker hatchback that incorporate some Nissan design traits of recent models with one of the most aerodynamic exterior designs in the industry. The new one is certainly more modern and includes edgy touches such as a blue-hue grille that converged with a generally conservative appearance.
The news here is, of course, the Leaf’s power. Nissan has increased the range of the Leaf to 150 miles on the EPA cycle here in the U.S. with its 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This marks a sizable increase over the current Leaf’s 107 mile range, but certainly falls short against rivals such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Tesla Model 3.
Nissan’s saving grace against the range difference may end up being the price tag. Rumors suggest the new Leaf will start under $30,000, which would undercut rivals with more range, perhaps making the Leaf a more attractive proposition.
In addition to the price difference, the Leaf is trying to differentiate itself in technology as well. The Leaf will be the first Nissan in the U.S. to feature the company’s ProPilot autonomous driving tech. The software will allow the Leaf to effectively drive itself on single-lane highway driving (when conditions allow), while ProPilot Park takes the hassle of parking the Leaf off of the driver.
ProPilot Assist is combing with what Nissan calls ePedal, which is the ability for drivers to drive the Leaf using only one pedal. The Leaf has logic built in to allow the car to coast to a complete stop without using the brake pedal; this maximizes the energy recaptured from the regenerative braking system and makes driving a little less stressful. Nissan calls the system innovative, so we look forward to sampling it when the Leaf arrives.
Inside, Nissan has kept the interior of the Leaf fairly conservative as well. It looks similar to other recent Nissan products, such as the Rogue. This means a generally handsome design with a focus on Nissan’s latest infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, while a large LCD display in the gauge cluster allows drivers to keep tabs on the ProPilot Assist system.
The next-generation Nissan Leaf will go on sale in Japan next month, but will not arrive stateside until early-2018.