Japanese automaker Nissan on Today (Wednesday) unveiled its 2018 Leaf, a fully electric car boasting autonomous features and an improved driving range.
The new Leaf comes with improved range, autonomous driving technology and a price tag that undercuts rivals in a bid to jump-start slowing sales. The car is also the first to adopt Nissan’s new ProPilot autonomous driving technology for single-lane highway driving, along with ProPilot Park which handles parking maneuvers.
Priced at a relatively low $30,000, the Leaf is $5,000 cheaper than Elon Musk’s Tesla Model 3, which was unveiled in a high-profile launch in July.
“The pricing range should be affordable. This is a fundamental point. You can do the Tesla type of pricing, but we focus more on our customer portfolio,” he said, without elaborating on the comparison.
Nissan said the new Leaf’s 40 kWh battery will provide 241km under EPA testing and 400km (248.5 miles) under the Japanese JC08 cycle. That’s a significant improvement over the 172.2km eked out by the previous model’s 30 kWh battery, but doesn’t match the Bolt and Model 3’s respective EPA ratings of 383 and 354km. Nissan plans to offer a more powerful version with longer mileage next year.
We haven’t had a chance to see it up-close just yet, but here’s what Nissan has to say about the design:
The new Nissan Leaf’s design includes a low, sleek profile that gives it a sharp, dynamic look. Along with excellent aerodynamics, the styling — from the sleek silhouette to the car’s “advanced expression” — evokes the exhilaration of driving an EV.
Familiar Nissan design features include the signature boomerang-shaped lamps and V-motion flow in the front. The flash-surface grille in clear blue and the rear bumper’s blue molding emphasize its identity as a Nissan EV.