2018 Nissan LEAF
By: Fedora Atjeh | September 05, 2017
It has been done, but at last the day (or the night rather) in which we have met the third generation of the Nissan LEAF. One of the most anticipated 100% electric vehicles of recent years in terms of popularity, and is that it is not in vain is the best sold worldwide electric since it was first presented in 2010.
This third generation will reach the European market in January 2018 and will do so with better arguments so that the trams continue to convince the public, with more technology that make it a benchmark within the brand and a simplicity of driving that will make it perfect for urban environments.
If there was a criticized aspect in the LEAF was its compact electric aesthetic, so for this new model at Nissan have wanted to differentiate and what they have achieved is a kind of hybridization between the previous LEAF, Micra and Pulsar. It has improved? Yes. Enough to stop picking up criticism? Not at all.
The influence of the latest Nissan designs, marked largely by the SWAY prototype and collected for the first time in a production car in the new Micra are still present in the renewal of the LEAF, although they have not just been transferred in its entirety.
At the front the LED optical groups rip and converge on a large central V-shaped grille finished in black (and three-dimensional effect with blue tones, premiere for Nissan electric models) with very marked lips that next to the zone lower almost horizontal side of the bumper give it a much more modern look. In the rear the pilots take the form of L, it includes a spoiler integrated in the ceiling and a diffuser in the zone inferior.
Precisely the top (at least that shown in the images) shows a black finish, a two-tone painting that extends from the pillars A to the middle of the tailgate to try to lighten the compact MPV impression and bring a fresher air and sports. The 16-inch alloy wheels are also bitono (17-inch in option), and the colors to choose between monochromatic or two-tone combined (not all gallery combinations will arrive in Europe).
Inside the LEAF now has a completely redesigned interior to give a better taste to the occupants, more premium. Materials of better quality and a more attractive environment for both driving and getting carried away.
The black has been established as the predominant color of series (another optional gray finish) except for small insertions in the steering wheel and in the frames of the aerators and the infotainment system. The dashboard is also black with white graphics and contrasts in electric blue to match the seams of the upholstery. Sober and without stridencies. You will notice it is a modern electric but not too much.
In the console the horizontal arrangement of the elements to gain visual amplitude is broken with the clusters of the central part. From top to bottom: aerators, 7-inch TFT color touch screen with buttons on the sides, climate control, start and temperature control of the seats and, finally, the push button selector and the activators of the -Pedal and assisted parking.
The biggest unknowns about the LEAF revolved around motorization, a kinematic chain called e-powertrain by the brand and that promises a better response at the same time as increased autonomy.
Under the body of the LEAF is a battery that extends the capacity of the current model in 10 kWh, up to 40 kWh, while the electric motor also offers a better performance, almost 50% better, passing the 103 CV of the version comes out to a very reasonable 150 hp (110 kW) and 320 Nm of torque available from 0 revolutions.
On this new endowment and an excellent job in the aerodynamic section, Nissan claims to have achieved homologation of a theoretical autonomy of 378 km with a single load according to NDEC cycle. This number surpasses the supposed initial objective of 350 km and far exceeds the 250 km (NDEC) of the LEAF 30 kWh.
We will have to look at how much remains in real use, but the EPA approval already cut to 172 km the autonomy of the previous model and a rule of three would leave the 40 kWh LEAF with 240 km (EPA). The good news, and this is important, is that Nissan will bring in late 2018 a second version more powerful and with greater autonomy. Will it be the rumored 60 kWh variant?
But the work of the Japanese engineers has not just stayed there. The improvement in performance and autonomy is also supported by a diet that although not significant in absolute terms, does reflect a great work from 1,591 to 1,535 kg (although there are differences between the data offered by the brand itself). A reduction of 56 kg for a car more capable, better equipped and with better soundproofing.