Tesla’s Model 3 might be the new hotness when it comes to electric vehicles, but Nissan is looking to take away some of that spotlight. The original Leaf brought customers a relatively affordable electric vehicle with a drive range of around 100 miles. However, the second-generation Leaf has some stiffer competition not only from the Model 3, but also the Chevrolet Bolt.
Although the second-generation Leaf isn’t supposed to make its debut until early September, the car has already been spied roaming the streets. As you can see from the images, the Leaf borrows styling cues from current Nissan vehicles like the Murano and Maxima; especially where the roof meets the rear doors. You can also see the blackout roof treatment, which is trending in a lot subcompact and compact hatchback vehicles.
Overall, the styling of the vehicle sticks pretty close to that of the Nissan IDS concept car, which is pictured below. Of course, the Leaf looks far tamer in the flesh, and makes concessions in order to remain road legal (i.e. the Leaf features door handles and ditches the wild front air dam).
Since we can’t mention the Leaf without bringing up the Model 3 and Bolt, we should point out that those two vehicles are rated to travel up to 310 miles and 238 miles respectively per charge. It’s expected that the new Leaf will at least be capable of traveling 200 miles per change, although we’re hoping for at least 250 miles; 300 miles would just be the icing on the cake.
Besides its funky styling, the Nissan Leaf will be loaded with technology, including ProPILOT Park which allows you to select a spot and have the vehicle automatically park for you. You can also expect for the Leaf to have a full suite of semi-autonomous driving and advanced safety features that are expected of new vehicles today.
The other big unknown with respect to the new Leaf (other than its range) is pricing. The current Leaf has a base MSRP of $30,680 before federal and state tax credits/rebates. The Model 3 (220-mile version) and Bolt have base prices of $35,000 and $37,495 respectively. Expect for the Leaf to stick adhere close to that pricing strategy if it wants to have continued success in the EV market.