Nissan adds range to cheaper Leaf, but new drivers are key

Otis Hoffman
September 8, 2017

Equipped with a 40 kWh battery, it boasts 378 kilometers of autonomy, while a new pack of 60 kWh will be available in the course of next year.

"So, I would expect the sales (of the new Leaf) to be larger for this new generation of Leaf".

The new powertrain delivers 147 horsepower, which is a boost of 38% over the older Leaf. It allows the drivers to accelerate, deaccelerate and stop using just one pedal.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf has a new more aggressive look
The 2018 Nissan Leaf has a new more aggressive look

Still, in a world void of affordable performance-oriented electric cars, a Leaf Nismo may be a welcome addition and a splash of excitement to the electric vehicle realm.

Nissan's all-new Leaf has been officially unveiled, with the Japanese carmaker presenting a bigger, stronger and more powerful EV.

"We might have a crossover EV shortly in the future", Daniele Schillaci, head global sales and marketing who also oversees Nissan's EV business, told reporters.

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"The Nissan LEAF is the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility with its many advanced technologies". The system will help keep the auto centered in your lane and if the vehicle in front of you stops, the Leaf will apply brakes, even takin the vehicle to a full stop without the driver pressing the brake.

In the gala rolling out event in Japan, Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci stressed that the Leaf was superior to Tesla offerings because Nissan had decades of experience making cars, and had more expertise on safety and other convenience features for cars. As we revealed yesterday, it has an extended range between charges and technology that includes an accelerator that also acts as a brake.

The restyled 2018 Leaf is lower and more sculpted than its bulbous predecessor, and Maragno said it also comes with new features that should attract new buyers.

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The new vehicle features greatly improved range, recording a distance of 235 miles on a single charge during official testing. This should provide the Leaf with upwards of 200 miles of range, Nissan says, putting it on par with the Bolt and Model 3 ranges. And while a little way off a fully autonomous setup, ProPilot "can also help the driver steer and keep the vehicle centered in its lane".

That range falls short of the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3, but it does come at a cheaper price point and that's key. And if nothing else, it's a real upgrade for existing Leaf owners at a price that should prove tempting to many.

We'll give the new Leaf a thorough going-over in the coming months, but in the meantime our man got behind the wheel of a prototype in Japan. The new Leaf feels swift enough when moving away and it's quiet and comfortable, with little road noise and only minimal hum from the motor.

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The next-generation Nissan Leaf will go into production at the end of 2017 at plants in Japan, the United Kingdom and the USA, the brand has confirmed. That's right - they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

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