Images of the 2018 Nissan Leaf have found their way onto the internet, about a month ahead of its scheduled unveiling. Nissan’s very latest EV, promising to be the most technologically advanced product in their range, was outed via a tweet that alleges to originate from within Nissan’s own factory in Japan.
The incoming EV was captured in a couple of photographs by a Twitter user in Japan, who claimed to work for the company (the tweet has since been deleted). The images were taken from within the Nissan factory in Oppama, Japan, and shows us clearly how the new-generation Leaf will shape up.
As seen in teaser videos and images previously, the Leaf takes a far more mainstream design approach, carrying a few design details that originated on the posh new Micra hatchback. While going with the pack rather than somewhat away for it, the Leaf’s design continues to maximise efficiency and aerodynamics by cutting a smooth, streamlined profile that minimises drag and pushes the battery range up to a maximum of 540km between charges.
The range improvement comes from new battery tech, along with nifty new packaging options that will allow Nissan to sell the Leaf in multiple models the same way Tesla has with its cars. The range-topping car is expected to utilise a 60kWh lithium-ion battery, effectively giving it a range that throws a 140km-long shade on that other Renault-Nissan Alliance EV, the Renault Zoe. The Leaf will also outdo its immediate rivals by offering ProPilot semi-autonomous driving capabilities, able to keep the car humming along in a single-lane on the motorway.
Nissan has high hopes pinned onto the Leaf, expecting it to lead the charge on achieving a 20% total sales volume from its EV division by 2020. Should the Leaf be as impressive as the company is claiming it to be, there’s little indication that it (and the models that’ll follow) won’t quietly deliver that goal.