Nissan has finally uncovered their new 2018 Leaf electric hatchback at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The 2018 Nissan Leaf comes with a completely overhauled design and better range. Though there are two models with different battery capacities, 40 kWh and 60 kWh, Nissan stressed mostly on the former, probably saving the latter (called the E-Plus) for another session.
Gone are the original Nissan Leaf’s frog-eye headlamps that were designed to reduce the NVH (Noise, vibration, and Harshness) levels. The new Leaf gets a completely conventional front end that is in line with the current Nissan family face. The updated design improves aerodynamics as well. The headlamps are swept back a long way into the fenders, giving it a sporty appeal. The “ice cube grill” hides a bunch of sensors for a few systems that the car houses. At the rear, the upper part gets a completely blacked out look and is flanked by a pair of tail lamps that resemble the ones on the Nissan Juke. The blacked out pillars and the two-tone color combo gives the feel of a floating roof. The new Leaf is larger as well, as it is 35mm longer, 10mm higher, and 20mm wider than the outgoing model.
The interior of the new Leaf offers no groundbreaking innovations but Nissan’s works have increased the practicality that it offers. Many of the buttons are now moved towards the drive selector making it easier for the driver to reach. A 7-inch touchscreen mounted in the center of the dash will readout data to the driver and offer him controls over many systems in the car.
The new Nissan leaf is packed with technology. A new ProPilot system automatically keeps the Leaf centered in a highway line and it will also stop when an emergency situation is sensed. Only the top SV and SL trims will offer it though. The emergency braking will be standard on all models. The 2018 Leaf will also have self-parking technology to flaunt. The nav-system improves its ability to find charging stations which will come in handy if you’re about to run out of juice in the middle of a good Sunday trip. These technologies come coupled with the e-Pedal, probably the most groundbreaking one of them all. The e-Pedal uses regenerative braking to allow the driver to drive the Leaf with just one pedal, where backing off the throttle slows down the car as if it’s braking. Otherwise, if you’re uncomfortable with that setup, the Leaf also has a proper brake pedal.
The 2018 Nissan Leaf will offer a competitive range to lock horns with the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. Even though the EPA official numbers are not out yet, the standard estimation for the 40 kWh model is 241 km of range, which is not adequate to fight the Americans. But when the E-Plus comes out with a 60 kWh battery, it is expected to offer more than 322 km, which is good enough to pose them a threat.
The Nissan Leaf is not offered in the UAE and GCC yet, although the Middle East office has been dropping hints that it might eventually be offered here.