By Jon LeSage
While the longer-range second-generation Nissan Leaf launch date remains clouded in mystery, a spy photo gallery may shed more light on the subject.
Autoblog just published spy shots of a camouflaged Leaf with a Michigan license plate being driven and viewed from all angles. The overall size and shape are close to the current Leaf all-electric car, but several changes appear to have been made.
As reported in Autoblog, the Nissan IDS electric concept car design appears to have spilled over to the next-generation Leaf. The revised Leaf looks like it will share a few elements including roof, angular headlights and taillights, and similar side angles. It may also look like a smaller version of the Nissan Murano crossover.
The Nissan IDS concept was shown at the Tokyo motor show in fall 2015.
The front end of the second-generation Leaf is being revised, with the futuristic headlights being toned down, smaller and less vertical than the current Leaf. The Leaf’s rear angle looks more aggressive with a large spoiler.
The IDS concept is supposed to come with a 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack that could carry the IDS up to 200 miles per charge; and would be twice the size of the current Leaf battery. The Nissan Leaf and its battery, which could come out as a 2018 model year vehicle, have been the subject of differing predictions, varying from 140 miles to 186. The current Leaf can travel up to 107 miles on a charge.
During a keynote speech at Consumer Electronics Show in January, CEO Carlos Ghosn said that a second-generation Leaf is coming “in the near future,” though he gave no information regarding driving range or a date and model year. He did focus on the Leaf coming with Nissan’s ProPilot autonomous driving technology.
“The model will be equipped with ProPilot technology, enabling autonomous drive functionality for single-lane highway driving,” Ghosn said.
While Leaf sales continue to fall in rank in the U.S., global sales have been solid.
According to a HybridCars.com report, the Tesla Model S finished first in global sales last year with 50,931 units sold. The Leaf came in at a close second with 49,220 units sold, far ahead of the other vehicles on the list.
As far as sales are concerned, Nissan does have a good reason for launching the second-generation Leaf.
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