After months of leaks, speculation, and teases, the 2018 Nissan Leaf has been officially revealed. It’s a complete redesign its maker hopes will bring the pioneering, yet outdated model, up to speed with newer competitors like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3.
Nissan claims the new Leaf’s 40 kWh battery will provide 150 miles of range under EPA testing and 400km (248.5 miles) under the Japanese JC08 cycle. That’s a significant improvement over the 107-mile range eked out by the previous model’s 30 kWh battery, but doesn’t match the Bolt and Model 3’s respective EPA ratings of 238 and 220 miles. Nissan plans to offer a more powerful version with longer range next year.
The new Leaf can be driven with a single pedal, which Nissan is calling the e-Pedal and describes as “revolutionary.” The e-Pedal handles starting, accelerating, decelerating, and stopping; releasing the pedal applies friction and regenerative brakes that can bring the car to a total stop even on steep inclines.
The new Leaf is also the first car to adopt Nissan’s new ProPilot autonomous driving technology for single-lane highway driving, along with ProPilot Park which handles parking maneuvers.
While the new Leaf is more adventurous than the original, it’s somewhat conservative and not as radical as the Model 3. We haven’t had a chance to see it up-close just yet, but here’s what Nissan has to say about the design:
The new Nissan Leaf’s design includes a low, sleek profile that gives it a sharp, dynamic look. Along with excellent aerodynamics, the styling — from the sleek silhouette to the car’s “advanced expression” — evokes the exhilaration of driving an EV.
Familiar Nissan design features include the signature boomerang-shaped lamps and V-motion flow in the front. The flash-surface grille in clear blue and the rear bumper’s blue molding emphasize its identity as a Nissan EV.
Nissan also stays conservative inside, too, with a dash that wouldn’t look too out of place in one of its gasoline-powered models, apart from the blue lighting motif the company uses in its EVs. The dash is built around a 7-inch touchscreen with a redesigned layout and support for Apple CarPlay, but fans of large, portrait-style screens will be disappointed.
Leaf pricing hasn’t been revealed yet, but it’s rumored to start at under $30,000, which would make it cheaper than either the Bolt or the Model 3. We’re on the ground in Tokyo and Las Vegas and will be bringing you more coverage very soon.