The 2018 Nissan Leaf was ready for its close-up, but didn’t count on a Norwegian tourist peering through a hotel window.
Photos have emerged of a completely uncovered next-generation Leaf spotted in Barcelona, Spain, apparently while in the midst of filming a commercial. The photos, sent to Norway’s TV2 television channel (Norway does love its EVs…), show the unclothed Leaf wearing a far more appealing body than that of its predecessor.
Still sporting a hatchback bodystyle, the 2018 Leaf boasts a number of advancements Nissan has slowly and carefully dripped to the media over the past few months. Head office won’t be happy to see these pics.
Gone is the first-generation Leaf’s bulbous body and fishlike face, replaced by a (vertically) slimming black roof — a motif that extends all of the way down the A-pillars and partly down the C-pillar — and a corporate front end treatment. Relatively flat bodysides and a strongly sculpted rear bumper suggests to the viewer that this vehicle needs all the aerodynamic help it can get. Less drag equals more range, whatever the figure ends up being.
We’ll learn the full range of specs when the Leaf officially debuts on September 6th. Given the state of the electric car marketplace, a range of at least 200 miles is a necessity. We’ve heard the 250 figure tossed about as a possible driving radius; certainly, whatever Nissan has planned will undoubtedly blow the current Leaf’s 107-mile range out of the water. In the little hatchback’s sights are the similar Chevrolet Bolt and sedan-only Tesla Model 3.
The upgraded model will also feature Nissan’s ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system, which handles the driving duties in a variety of scenarios. No, it’s not a fully self-driving car, but Tesla-style updates should follow its release.
One unique feature found on the 2018 model is Nissan’s e-Pedal, which allows for single-pedal driving. While Nissan assures us there’s still a brake pedal, the vehicle’s strong regenerative braking allows drivers to slow, stop, and hold the vehicle on an incline just by letting off the accelerator.
For Nissan, the new Leaf can’t arrive soon enough. While the model isn’t a big money maker for the brand, no automaker wants its former technology champ sitting on the sidelines, muscles atrophied, wheezing. Perhaps due to falling prices and hard-to-pass-up local deals, the Leaf has posted 10 consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains in the U.S.
A version of this story originally appeared on The Truth About Cars.
[Images via TV2.no]