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Nissan debuts longer-range, sharper-looking Leaf. Image by Nissan.

Nissan debuts longer-range, sharper-looking Leaf
All-new second-generation Nissan Leaf EV can go 235 miles on a charge, has 150hp and 320Nm
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Newer articles featuring 2018 Nissan Leaf

2018-01-17: Driven: Nissan Leaf
2017-09-07: Nissan confirms Leaf production in UK

What's all this about?

We've got an all-new Nissan Leaf on the way, replacing the original electric vehicle (EV) which was launched in 2010 and which has sold more than 283,000 units worldwide since. This is our first look at the Leaf MkII, then (insert your own 'turning over a new Leaf' gag here), and there's plenty of good news with the newcomer.

Oh, really? What's so good about it?

It looks better than it did before, both inside and out. It's packed with new technologies. It has more power and torque than the current car. And, most importantly of all, it can go further on a single charge of its batteries - up to 235 miles, if you must ask.

Wow, 235 miles?! That's pretty impressive, no?

It is indeed, especially as the outgoing Leaf can only do 155 miles. The new car's extraordinary capability comes about because the storage density of the lithium-ion battery pack has been increased, from 30kWh to 40kWh. Not only that, but power and torque of the e-drivetrain are up 38 and 26 per cent respectively, rising from 109hp/254Nm on the existing model to 150hp/320Nm on the latest version. Acceleration should therefore be significantly improved, although the top speed is limited to 90mph - the current (forgive the pun) Leaf does 89mph.

What do you particularly like about the exterior?

We like the fact it no longer looks like that bit in Beetlejuice where the deceased characters played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin pull their faces out into strange, elongated and beaky shapes. This Leaf is much crisper to behold, featuring a V-motion front grille with blue highlights (Nissan's signature colour for its EVs), wraparound rear light clusters that aren't a million miles removed from those seen on the latest Micra and the option of having a contrast roof to the body colour.

And within?

It looks classier here, too, what with its seven-inch full colour TFT infotainment screen (incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) dominating a tidier dashboard array. Blue stitching also runs all over the seats, fascia and steering wheel, to tie into the EV theme. We should perhaps point out at this stage that the sharper exterior results in a drag coefficient of 0.26, the whole car weighs in at 1,535kg and there's a 435-litre boot at the back, which is larger than the old Leaf's 370-litre cargo bay.

Are there any other innovations for the Leaf MkII, besides additional power and range?

Yes, three new intelligent driving technologies make their debut on the second-gen Nissan Leaf: ProPilot, ProPilot Park and the e-Pedal. The first of these is an advanced Adaptive Cruise Control that can be used on single-carriageway roads, the second is an intelligent parking system that automatically slots the car into a space for you (including steering, acceleration, braking and gear selection), and the third is Nissan's take on 'one-pedal driving'. Click the e-Pedal button and you'll only need the accelerator to travel around for most of the time, as the regenerative brakes will enact 0.2g of deceleration on the Leaf when you lift off the throttle. You should only need to resort to the brake pedal when you're really desperately anchoring on. And that's not all - a whole host of advanced safety technologies, like Intelligent Lane Intervention, Lane Departure Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Around View Monitor with moving object detection and Emergency Assist for Pedal Misapplication, will all be offered too.

When does the new Leaf go on sale?

We should see the Nissan Leaf MkII in showrooms in January next year. But there's a final cherry on the cake - the Japanese manufacturer says an even longer-range, more powerful Leaf will be sold (for more money, natch) at the end of 2018. So if 320Nm and 235 miles aren't enough for you, help is already on the way.

Matt Robinson - 6 Sep 2017

2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.

2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.2018 Nissan Leaf revealed. Image by Nissan.    - Nissan road tests
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