New Nissan Leaf Does Electric Better [Video]

The new, second-generation Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle (EV) has been introduced in Japan and will be sold in over 60 markets worldwide, including South Africa. We attended its global reveal in Tokyo, Japan and got to meet Leaf 2.0.

The zero-emission Nissan Leaf has been introduced in Japan and although the first-generation Leaf didn’t sell particularly well in South Africa, this new model appears to have raised the bar of what of what an electric car can offer.

According to Nissan, the Leaf has been reinvented to offer a new design, improved range and advanced technology.

“The new Nissan Leaf drives Nissan Intelligent Mobility, which is the core brand strategy for Nissan’s future. The new Nissan Leaf, with its improved 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 core strengths that will be embodied by future Nissan models” said Hiroto Saikawa, president and chief executive officer of Nissan.

Electric power

The new zero emission Leaf now has a range of 400 km and offers 110 kW and 320 Nm. 

The new Leaf is powered by an electric motor developing 110 kW and 320 Nm of torque in conjunction with a 40 kWh Lithium-ion battery. Nissan says that the new Leaf offers improved acceleration and higher levels of driving enjoyment.

The Leaf now has a range 400 km and can be charged in 8 hours using a 6 kW outlet or alternatively, 16 hours using a 3 kW outlet. Fast charging will rapidly decrease charging times and 80% charge can be achieved in about 40 minutes.

The new Leaf is equipped with ProPILOT autonomous drive technology used for single-lane highway driving as well as ProPILOT Park. When activated, ProPILOT Park will control steering, acceleration, braking, shift changes and apply the parking brake to guide the vehicle safely into its parking. The Leaf can also parallel park using this system.

Another cool feature on the new Leaf is what Nissan calls the e-Pedal which is said to transform the way people drive. The e-Pedal allows the driver to start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by either increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the pedal. So, when no pressure is applied to the pedal, the regenerative and friction brakes kick in automatically to bring the Leaf to a stop. The Leaf can also hold its position on steep inclines until the driver applies pressure to the pedal.  

Design details

The LEAF has been imbued with a sleeker, more dynamic appearance that will hopefully encourage people to consider it. 

The new Leaf has s a sleeker profile with a sharp look with the intention of evoking “the exhilaration of driving an EV”, according to Nissan. The Leaf is equipped with boomerang-shaped headlights and a flash-surface grille in clear blue. The bumpers mouldings are in blue too, hinting at the Leaf’s electric nature.  

On the inside, the Leaf’s cabin has been redesigned with a focus on the driver and features a front panel that Nissan calls a “gliding wing”. The interior features blue stitching on the seats, dashboard and steering wheel to add vibrance to the cabin. The Leaf is equipped with a 7-inch colour TFT display which highlights features such as audio, navigation, and Safety Shield technology power guage. Apple CarPlay is now offered on the Leaf too.

The new Leaf​'s interior has been completely redesigned to offer increased comfort and aesthetic appeal.

A more powerful version of the Leaf will also be offered, albeit more expensive, in 2018 and is said to offer more excitement and performance over the standard version.

The Nissan Leaf is expected to arrive in South Africa later in 2018. We will keep you updated as soon as local specification and pricing details are revealed.

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