Nissan’s new Leaf is the updated version of one of the pioneers of the modern all-electric consumer car, and the improvements are definitely significant.
Fresh from its reveal at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Nissan has completely reinvented its zero-emissions Leaf, by combining a greater range and a design that sees it fit in line with other Nissan offerings. This way, it doesn’t stick out like the sore thumb it was previously, and is more easily accepted into the current Nissan range.
“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 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.”
With its new e-powertrain, Leaf outputs 110kw and 320nm, offering improved performance and a more engaging drive, but the biggest talking point is its range of 400km!
As mentioned earlier, the Leaf has been completely redesigned and now sports a low, sleek profile giving it a sharp and dynamic look. On top of the aerodynamically improved exterior, the Leaf boasts a newly designed interior that contains advanced high-tech technologies like ProPILOT Assist and an e-Pedal.
The Leaf is first to showcase Nissan’s next-generation ProPILOT Assist safety technology. ProPILOT is an autonomous drive technology, used during single-lane driving on the highway, and is paired with ProPILOT Park. When activated, the car’s ProPILOT Park technology takes control of steering, acceleration, braking, shift-changing and the parking brake to automatically guide it into a parking spot. It enables the driver to park safely and simply, even when parallel parking.
Another bit of new tech is the Leaf’s e-Pedal, which is said to transform the way people drive. According to the manufacturer, drivers will be able to, start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the LEAF to a complete stop. The car holds its position, even on steep uphill slopes, until the accelerator is pressed again. The reactiveness of e-Pedal helps maximize driving pleasure.
The entire interior of the Leaf has been improved for 2018, with it being a more ‘grown up’, and very similar to what is seen in other upmarket Nissan models like the X-trail. The 7”, full-color (TFT) display has been redesigned to highlight key features, such as the Safety Shield technology power gauge and audio and navigation system information. Apple CarPlay has also been added.
The Leaf is expected to go on sale in Eastern markets in October, with deliveries planned for major markets in early 2018. South African’s will have to wait until Q4 of 2018 for these cars to hit our shores.