Only the combination of cheap fuel and the arrival of competitors with better range, like the Chevrolet Bolt EV, have had enough impact to hurt sales, but that may not be the case for long. These new spy shots give us our first look at the second-generation of the world's best selling highway-capable electric vehicle.
Although the car in these photos is heavily camouflaged, we can still make out quite a few details. The new Leaf appears to take a lot of elements from the Nissan IDS concept, including the floating roof and angular headlights and taillights. Some of the concept car elements have been toned down, but from the side the two cars look very similar. The profile is also reminiscent of the current Nissan Murano.
The front appears to be far more aggressive than the current model, though it looks like it retains the flip-up panel that hides the charging ports. The headlights look much smaller and don't appear to be as vertical as the current Leaf, though it looks like the new hood mimics that shape. The rear, like the front, is far more aggressive, with a larger spoiler. The clear taillight lenses appear to have been ditched.
No official word on the range or battery capacity, but expect significant gains for both. The current Leaf can only travel 107 miles on a single charge, far less that the 238 mile range of the Chevy Bolt EV. If the IDS concept is any indication, look for a 60-kWh battery pack, twice the size of the current model's battery. A range of fewer than 200 miles would be a huge disappointment. Nissan has already announced that the new Leaf will have ProPilot autonomous capabilities, though the system's extent isn't fully clear. Look for more news in the coming months.