Nissan Leaf 2018 new electric car range, design, pictures and technology has been revealed
Nissan has finally revealed the new Leaf 2018 electric car which will go on sale in Europe from January 2018.
Immediately what is most notable about the new Leaf is its completely overhauled looks.
Gone is the quirky bug-eyed design worn by its predecessor and in its place is a vehicle that looks more in line with the rest of the Japanese manufacturer’s product line.
Its front-end it clearly inspired by the popular Nissan Micra 2017, with he tapered front end and V-Motion grille, coloured blue to mark the fact it is electric, sitting proudly at the front.
In addition to this it also borrows design cues from the IDS Concept revealed in 2015 but is suitably more refined and less outrageous that the futuristic behemoth the IDS was.
A new headlight and rear lights design signature has been deployed on the new EV completely changing the look of the car.
It features a contrasting colour roof and bootlid and newly designed bumpers and side skirts.
The car looks similar to some of the leaks that surfaced online over the past few weeks but even more refined.
It’s a much better looking car by not trying to make such an overt statement about it being an electric vehicle, like the predecessor appeared to be doing.
Exteiror colour options for the car are white, yellow, red and light blue combined with a black roof.
In addition to basic colours, a new colour, Spring Light Green, is offered.
The new Nissan LEAF is also available in two-tone colours, responding to the tastes of customers in each market.
Aside from the styling the most talked about element of the new car is its range as in the current EV market, distance on one charge is currency.
It is powered by a 40kW battery which has a max output of 150PS and 320Nm of torque allowing a top speed of 90mph.
The car’s range has thankfully received a sizeable increase to 235 miles on a single charge surpassing the entry level Tesla Model 3.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed for the Leaf but if it is cheaper than the Tesla then it could become a key rival.
Charging times take 16 hours from a 3kW output and eight hours using a 6kw charger.
Quick charging is also available allowing it to recharge 80 per cent capacity in 40 minutes.
Nissan promises a higher capacity version of the Leaf will become available at the end of 2018 with more power and larger battery capacity, but at a higher price point.
Two of the features Nissan revealed ahead of the car’s unveiling were the ProPilot automous driving capabilities and the e-Pedal.
ProPilot is an advanced driver distance system which can be deployed during single-lane driving on the motorway, where the car will drive itself.
Once activated, it can automatically control the distance to the vehicle in front, using a speed preset by the driver (between about 30 km/h and 100 km/h (19mph-62mph)).
The car’s exterior design has been completely overhauled
It can also help the driver steer and keep the vehicle centered in its lane. If the car in front stops, the ProPILOT system will automatically apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary.
The car can even hold itself in place when the brake is not applied and then if traffic restarts again it will accelerate automatically.
“The new Nissan LEAF drives Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the core brand strategy for Nissan’s future,” said Hiroto Saikawa, president and chief executive officer of Nissan.
“The new Nissan LEAF, with its improved autonomy range, combined with the evolution of autonomous drive technology, such as ProPILOT Park and the simple operation of the e-Pedal, strengthens Nissan’s EV leadership, as well as the expansion of EVs globally.
“It also has the core strengths that will be embodied by future Nissan models.”
Another feature of the autonomous driving is ProPilot Park which when initiated will see the car take control of all the steering, acceleration, breaking and gear selection to automatically guide it into a parking space.
The e-Pedal is new, not just to the Leaf but to all electric vehicles.
It allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop simply by adjusting their input upon the accelerator pedal.
When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, gradually bringing the car to a complete stop.
The car holds its position, even on steep uphill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again.
“Drivers of the new Nissan LEAF will quickly come to love the e-Pedal, as it makes the usual experience of urban driving far smoother and more fluid, and less demanding,” said Hiroki Isobe, chief vehicle engineer.
“Our testing has showed that drivers quickly find the e-Pedal intuitive and even enjoyable. It promotes anticipation on the road, which in turn has a positive effect on driving pleasure.”
Inside the car, Nissan has opted for an understated look and feel.
The car’s aerodynamic efficiency has been improved
Higher quality materials have been used to design the cabin and a boost in tech features has also improved the overall feel of the car’s interior.
A new seven-inch full-colour TFT display has been added which is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity systems.
The infotainment system also features audio and navigation control and Nissan’s Safety Shield technology.
Nissan has also improved the car’s noise cancelling and added in comfort feature like dual cupholders and USB chargers in the front console.
The car’s luggage space has also bee increased to a decent 435-litres.
Its price will likely be confirmed nearer the end of 2017.