I spoke a while ago about rumours that the new Nissan Leaf might get a Nismo variant and it seems there was some basis to that rumour. While only a concept, Nissan leaked some details on this new car before it shows in Tokyo. It is a real thing!
Nissan have previewed the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept before its official reveal in Japan. I think it actually looks quite good. It takes what’s best about the new Leaf design and turns it up a bit. The black, white and red colour scheme works well with just enough red on the trim to make it look very good indeed.
It isn’t all about appearances though. Nissan said they have tuned the suspension, added performance tires and recalibrated the ECU to deliver a much more exciting ride.
While I like the idea of a sporty electric car, I’m not sure it will work in the real world. Like the CR-V Sports Hybrid, it seems counterintuitive to have a frugal engine with sporty pretensions. Even with its increased range, you are only ever going to be able to drive fast for a few miles before needing to charge again.
The whole point of an electric car is driving as responsibly as possible to maximize range. The Nismo pairing seems to fly in the face of that. I still think it looks good though.
2018 Nissan Leaf
The 2018 Nissan Leaf shows that Nissan understands what we want when looking for an electric car. It doesn’t try to be too flash or attempt to upstage the competition. What it does do is improve on the preceding model in all the ways that counts.
The new design offers a much improved profile. Not dissimilar to a Euro-spec Honda Civic, this new shape is a triumph. It is more modern and more cutting edge without being too polarizing. It also stays within the Nissan design philosophy and is instantly recognizable as a Nissan thanks to the family V-grille.
Inside, there is enough space for four adults to travel in comfort with cargo in the back. The dashboard is kept simple and reintroduces an analog dial as customers said they preferred it. The centre stack and digital displays elsewhere tell you everything that’s going on with the car.
The motor generates the equivalent of 147 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque through a 40kWh battery pack and CVT transmission. The battery is apparently being uprated to 60kWh for even more range.
I haven’t yet seen one in the flesh or driven one so cannot yet comment on how it feels. As soon as I get hands-on, I will let you know.