Nissan has pulled the wraps off of its second-generation LEAF electric car, which gets an all-new look and a redesigned powertrain that promises 241 km of driving range.
That is, after all, the metric by which all electric vehicles are measured, and the new LEAF’s claimed performance is a major improvement over the outgoing car’s 172-km range.
Priced at $35,998 – $2,000 more than the current model – and set to go on sale in early 2018, the new LEAF will be followed in 2019 by a more powerful version that will command a higher price tag.
For now, Nissan says Canadian models will come standard with a “weather” package that includes heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, battery heater, and a 120-/240-volt charging cable.
Redrawn interior and exterior styling hews more closely to the look and feel of other Nissan models, but reinforces the LEAF’s status as the brand’s only electric vehicle. Surprising touches include a more conventional instrument cluster that includes an analog speedometer in place of the old car’s all-digital display.
Other standard tech features include ProPilot Assist, which assists with steering, braking, and accelerating in highway driving. It works as long as the car stays in a single lane, but previews a future evolution of autonomous technology that will oversee lane changes, too.
The LEAF will also come with Nissan’s e-Pedal single-pedal driving system, which will bring the car to a stop without using the brake pedal.
The new LEAF’s 241-km driving range is still much less than what’s possible to wring out of Tesla’s EVs and the Chevrolet Bolt, but it’s more than what BMW’s i3 can manage without its gasoline-powered range extender. And all of those cars are more expensive than Nissan’s latest EV offering.
Nissan is also expected to used the new LEAF’s platform to underpin a future electric crossover based on the Terra concept first revealed at the 2012 Paris auto show.
Watch for more details, including specifications specifics and a firm on-sale date, in the coming months.