After selling 300,000 units of its best-selling electric car, Nissan took its covers off the second generation Nissan Leaf in Japan, and it is more powerful and cheaper than the model that preceded it.
“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 autonomy range, combined with the evolution of autonomous drive technology, such as ProPILOT Assist 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 competency of future Nissan models,” Nissan president Hiroto Saikawa said in a statement.
The new model sports an all new design which no longer screams eco-warrior, and shows aggressive angular lines, starting from the boomerang shaped headlights in a nod to its IDS concept counterpart, which gives an impression to be more fun to drive than its predecessor. The signature V-Motion grille is highlighted with blue molding that identifies the car as an EV. The charging port is no longer located on what used to be on the Nissan badge, instead, it is located above the grille.
The interior has been given a redesign, featuring leather seats and bright blue stitching, which is also prevalent in other Nissan EVs. The digital instrument panel has a new layout, and the futuristic steering wheel from the first generation is changed to a more contemporary design. The 7-inch TFT centre console display, available only in the SV and SL trims, has integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
More driver focused technologies have been added, such as Nissan’s driver assist system dubbed the ProPILOT Assist, which functions as both cruise control and lane keeping assist, and also warns of oncoming pedestrians and blind spots. The new e-Pedal makes the car to brake under deceleration, therefore allowing regenerative braking under deceleration, which regenerates energy under braking.
The new LEAF now sports a new electric powertrain with a 40kWh battery which produces 147 horsepower and 236 Nm of torque, 30 more horsepower than its predecessor, and has a claimed range of 230 miles (370 kilometers). Nissan said in a statement that will offer a more powerful version by 2019.
While the original LEAF is intended to be the world’s best-selling electric car, the latest generation enters a more competitive market against Volkswagen’s e-Golf and Hyundai’s Ioniq, both of which are similarly priced but with lower range, considering the LEAF starts at $29,990. Its main rival is the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which is $7,000 more expensive but with eight more miles of range in a single charge.
The LEAF is available in Nissan’s respective dealerships worldwide starting at $29,990 for the base LEAF S, $32,490 for the SV and $36,200 for the top-of-the-line SL, which includes Bose Premium audio system, portable charging ports and Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility systems such as Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor. However, it may take a while for the LEAF to land in the Philippines.