After endless teasers, Nissan has finally unveiled the second-generation all-electric Nissan Leaf here in its home country Japan. The world’s most advanced mass-market electric vehicle (EV) (Tesla’s price point is far from mass-market), gets an updated powertrain, extended driving range and a series of advanced driver assistance systems.
Inspired by the IDS Concept car, first presented at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the new Leaf has ditched the awkward curvy shape for a more conventional and sporty hatchback design. Its now marginally larger than its predecessor measuring at 4,480 mm in length, 1,790 mm in width, 1,545 mm in height with a 2,700 mm wheelbase.
The new Leaf features Nissan’s signature V-motion grille like the X-Trail and Qashqai. Except here, the grille is finished in Blue, a trait unique to Nissan’s EVs. Those dual-projector headlamps were designed to express a high-tech feel and gives better forward illumination. The sharp bumper design, aero-optimised wheels and floating roof design collectively help the Leaf slice through air with a drag coefficient of 0.28. The bold lines that runs across the hood and side body further emphasises the sporty element of the car.
The under body and rear diffuser helps reduce drag and creates zero lift, giving the Leaf better stability at speeds. Besides that, Nissan has shifted the charging port (located at the front) to sit at a 45-degree angle to allow drivers of all heights to connect the charger without bending down.
Inside, the cabin has been completely revamped to create a more upmarket feel with generous use of high-quality materials. Using the brand’s “Gliding Wing” architecture, the dashboard has been redesigned with one focus in mind – enjoyable drive. It’s a high-tech EV after all hence Nissan has fitted an analogue speedometer flanked with LCD multi-information display to give the drivers maximum information at all times.
The cabin’s ergonomics has been redesigned to give additional storage area for the front passenger as well as easier access to controls around the centre console. Boot space has also swelled from 370 litres to 435 litres.
Driving the Leaf is an improved e-powertrain that delivers 110 kW (147 hp) and 320 Nm of twisting force from 0 rpm. That is 30 kW (40 hp) and 66 Nm more than the outgoing leaf. Thanks to a larger 40 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the new Leaf can cover up to 378 km on a single charge, that’s enough to take you from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore! Although you’d need to find a charging port the moment you enter our neighbouring country.
A full charge from a regular 3 kW outlet takes 16 hours while a 6 kW outlet cuts the time down to 8 hours. If you’re in a rush however, plug it into a Quick Charging station and the battery will charge to 80 percent from empty in 40 minutes.
Another innovation that debuts with the Leaf is the e-Pedal, at a push of a button, drivers can decelerate and come to a complete stop by just lifting off from the throttle, effectively allowing the drivers to operate the vehicle with just the accelerator pedal. However, in aggressive braking situations, drivers can always apply the conventional brakes.
Nissan’s new range of semi-autonomous driving will be made available with the Leaf including ProPILOT that bundles adaptive cruise control and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) as well as ProPILOT Park which helps the car park itself.
The all-new second-generation Nissan Leaf will go on sale in Japan next month while deliveries in North America and Europe will only begin early next year. Nissan has scheduled the Leaf to be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.