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2019 Nissan Leaf Twin-Motor Concept

2019 Nissan Leaf Twin-Motor Concept

A Leaf with more than 300 horsepower and all-wheel drive

The 2019 Nissan Leaf Twin-Motor is an all-electric concept car that features two electric motors and all-wheel-drive capability. It’s heavily based on the existing second-generation Nissan Leaf, as it features an identical exterior and a lightly modified interior. Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the twin-motor Leaf concept previews a new production car that’s already in the works. According to Nissan, this new drivetrain will enable a future EV to "achieve a huge leap in acceleration, cornering and braking performance, on par with the latest sports cars."

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2019 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC

2019 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC

Better in all areas than the old one, but still almost useless

The new Nissan Leaf Nismo RC is as much a race car as it is a PR stunt. Yes, it builds on the experience Nissan gained by developing the first race-going Leaf only it doesn’t actually go racing anywhere. Nissan says six will be built and, with 327 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque on tap, it’s quite a beast but it’s not homologated for any series, and it will never be, so what is really the point?

The Nissan Leaf is without a shadow of a doubt the most successful EV car on the market today. Since its introduction in 2010, nearly 400,000 units have been sold worldwide and, as of October 2018, the U.S. is the Leaf’s biggest fan, buying over 126,000 examples in the first ten months of this year. It’s natural, then, to see Nissan partner with Nismo and create a new racing rendition of this eco-friendly compact car.

The first Leaf Nismo RC, that was unveiled back in 2011, looked like a big lump of fat. It was round in all areas and was about as aggressive as a pufferfish. With technology still in its infancy, the output wasn’t ground-shaking either: a little over 100 horsepower and about 200 pound-feet of torque. But it taught Nissan some important lessons about EVs and, so, we’ve expected a lot more from this new car, and we’ve got a whole lot more. There will also be more than one built but there’s still an issue: Nissan won’t enter the Leaf Nismo RC in any racing series since it doesn’t comply to any set of regulations in the world. It’s a test mule, which is a bit sad.

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The Nissan Leaf Nismo Has Been Unveiled, But It May Leave You Disappointed

The Nissan Leaf Nismo Has Been Unveiled, But It May Leave You Disappointed

Only in Japan, but we will get something even better

Since the introduction of the first Nissan Leaf, the automotive world has been quite eager to see what the Nissan performance division Nismo can do with the electric hatch. The race-ready Nismo Leaf RC was the first one to appear, but it was just too radical. Then, over the years, Nissan played around with some pseudo spirited versions never giving us a true Nismo Leaf. All that until October 25, 2017, when the Japanese company showcased the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.

Fast forward to today.

Nine months of the gestation period gave birth to a Leaf Nismo only available in Japan and wearing much the same attire as the concept version. Yet, I am far more interested in what Nismo did to that 147 horsepower drivetrain.

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2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo

2019 Nissan Leaf Nismo

For Japan only. At least for now

Introduced in 2010, the Nissan Leaf set many benchmarks in the electric car market and has become one of the most popular EVs out there. But, after seven years on the market, the Leaf got a bit long in the tooth, and with other companies having introduced more modern EVs in this niche, Nissan had no choice but to develop a second-generation model. Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the new Leaf is better in just about any department and it finally spawned a Nismo version.

Previewed by a concept unveiled at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, the Leaf Nismo is heavily based on the show car. However, the Nismo isn’t the "higher power, longer range version at a higher price" promised by Nissan, as the upgrade is far from comprehensive under the skin. The EV was also launched in Japan only, and it doesn’t seem as if Nissan wants to sell it in Europe or the United States anytime soon. Information is still scarce, but until more data becomes available let’s have a closer look at what we already know about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo.

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2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

2017 Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept

The compact EV may finally get a Nismo version, but don’t get excited yet!

The Nissan Leaf has been around since 2010, and it’s already one of the most popular all-electric vehicles on the road. The Japanese compact has been declared the best-selling EV in both 2013 and 2014 and sales have already surpassed 250,000 units as of 2017. On top of that, it has won numerous awards globally. Come 2017, and Nissan has launched the second-generation Leaf, a significantly improved vehicle that’s not only more appealing to look at, but also a better competitor to brand-new EVs like the Chevrolet Bolt and Tesla Model 3. And it seems that the second-gen Leaf may finally spawn a Nismo version. Or at least this is what the Leaf Nismo Concept that was built for the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show suggests.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed for production, the Leaf Nismo Concept seems ready to hit the assembly line, as every new feature it received is inspired by previous Nismo cars. As usual, it has a sportier exterior, while the interior is highlighted by contrast stitching and the Nismo-specific red trim. The drivetrain has also been upgraded with a new, sporty suspension and revised ECU. On the other hand, both the electric motor and the battery are as standard as they get, which raises some concern as to whether or not the production version of the Leaf Nismo will be an authentic Nismo vehicle or just an annoying visual package. But, let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept.

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2018 Nissan Leaf

2018 Nissan Leaf

Shots Fired: The second-gen EV is coming to take on the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3

The Nissan Leaf came to be in 2010 as the company’s first mass-produced, all-electric passenger car. Built on a bespoke platform based on the familiar Nissan B architecture it uses a synchronous electric motor and a range of battery packs that deliver up to 107 miles per charge. Although it has proven quite popular in several markets around the world, the first-generation Leaf has become rather dated now that GM has launched the Chevrolet Bolt and Opel Ampera-e, while Tesla rolled out the Model 3. Nissan is looking to catch up with the competition with a redesigned model that broke cover ahead of the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

With more than 283,000 units sold globally as of September 2017, the Nissan Leaf is still the world’s best-selling affordable, mass-produced electric vehicle. But with the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 now in the picture, Nissan may have to cope with losing some of that market share. But the Japanese are ready to put up a good fight, as the new Leaf is a significant departure from the first-generation model. Sportier and more appealing to look at, it has a more upscale interior with new technology and a revised drivetrain with significantly more power and better range. Will it have what it takes to compete with the world’s most advanced EVs? Let’s find out below.

Continue reading to find out more about the upcoming Nissan Leaf.

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2016 Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf

Around since late 2010, the Nissan Leaf has yet to receive an overhaul, but while a second-generation model might still be a few years away, the Japanese did launch an update for the 2016 model year. Those of you waiting for a visual facelift will be disappointed, though, as the body carries over unchanged. On the other hand, there are plenty of upgrades to talk about in the drivetrain department, as well as a mildly updated interior.

With 180,000 units sold globally as of June 2015, the Nissan Leaf is the world’s all-time, best-selling, highway-capable electric car, a distinction it’s likely to retain following this update. The 2014 Nissan Leaf topped the EV/hybrid segment in the U.S. too, delivering 30,200 examples in 2014, a massive 33 percent increase over 2013 and the first time an electric car has sold 30K units. By comparison, its closest competitors (in terms of sales, of course), the 2014 Chevrolet Volt and 2315 Tesla Model S, sold only 18,805 and 17,410 units, respectively.

Will Leaf sales continue to grow now that the hatchback can be had with an upgraded drivetrain? It remains to be seen really, but with a range that now surpasses the 100-mile mark, the Leaf is likely to get a lot of attention. Keep reading for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Leaf.

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2014 Nissan Leaf "Sparky"

2014 Nissan Leaf "Sparky"

Needing the right tool for the job often requires ingenuity. That’s exactly the case at Nissan’s Stanfield, Arizona proving grounds. The team of engineers needed a truck-like vehicle to haul test gear, but something that got great gas mileage around the 3,050-acre complex.

Meet Sparky, the wild idea a few Nissan engineers cooked up while trying to solve the dilemma. The team started with a stock Nissan LEAF, the all-electric hatchback and combined it with several parts scavenged off a Nissan Frontier pickup. The combination is something of a Frankenstein, but it gets the job done.

Not using a drop of fuel, little Sparky makes his way across the grounds and helps out with testing of future Nissan products. "I needed a project for a team building activity so we can bring the team together. We had a need for a truck. Something to drive around, a shop truck," says Roland Schellenberg, one of Nissan’s masterminds behind Sparky.

Helping build Sparky was Arnold Moulinet. “I went home and stayed up till like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work,” he says. “We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed.”

Now the Nissan development team has an electrically powered mini truck that functions as park of the team. “It’s something that we all put together,” says Schellenberg. “We all share, so it has a little bit of everybody in there.”

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2014 Nissan Leaf

2014 Nissan Leaf

Nissan unveiled the Leaf in 2010, and there were no major updates until the 2013 model year when it was updated with a new, lower priced Leaf S grade, an array of new features for the Leaf SL grade, new option packages with available Around View Monitor and an available 6.6 kW onboard charger that reduces 220V charging time to four hours. Additionally, Nissan increased cargo space to 24 cubic feet with the 2nd row seat upright by relocating the onboard charger to the front of the vehicle.

For the 2014 model year, the model continues pretty much unchanged, with the only addition including a RearView Monitor standard on all grades and an updated EV-IT functionality with voice destination entry and SMS readout.

The 2014 Leaf will go on sale in late December 2013, and prices will be announced at a later date. As usual, the model will be offered three grades: S, SV and SL models.

Updated 01/08/2014: Nissan officially announced prices for the 2014 Leaf which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $28,980 for the S version and will go up to $35,020 for the SL version.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Nissan Leaf.

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2012 Nissan Leaf Police Car

2012 Nissan Leaf Police Car

Who said police officers can’t drive environmental cars? Nissan has just delivered a fleet of eight Leaf electric cars for Portugal’s PSP (Polícia de Segurança Pública) - the security force responsible for policing the large urban areas of the country.

The car driven by the police is a standard Leaf, but features flashing blue lights, sirens, and clear "Polícia" markings. The Police Leaf is still powered by the same electric drive motor that delivers a total of 107 HP and 208 lbs-ft of torque. With only 30 minutes of charge, the car has an autonomy of 80 miles.

"We pride ourselves in being the first police force in the world to incorporate cars with zero-emission technology as part of our 5,000 vehicle fleet," said Superintendent Paul Gomes Valente, National Director of PSP. "We want to continue reducing pollution in large urban centres and the introduction of the 100 per cent electric Nissan LEAF sets a new benchmark for our fleet," he added.

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2012 Nissan Leaf Nismo

2012 Nissan Leaf Nismo

At the beginning of 2011, Nissan unveiled the Leaf Nismo RC concept, offering up an "extreme" version for their electric car. Now, the company has taken it back a notch by presenting a new Nismo Concept at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show - right next to the Juke Nismo - that strips the racing qualities, but moves forward with the Nismo package.

The new Nissan Leaf Nismo Concept features an extreme body kit, including a front aero bumper, a rear under protector, rear diffuser, extended side sills, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The front bumper incorporates LED lighting which is arranged transversely to accentuate a sense of motion. Unfortunately, that’s where the modifications end, which isn’t unusual for an electric vehicle. The Nissan Leaf Nismo is still powered by front mounted electric drive motor that only outputs 80 of those kilowatts for a maximum output of 107 HP.

"Nissan LEAF has shown that zero emission mobility is no longer a dream but a reality. The Nismo Concept not only proves the hidden potential of Nissan LEAF but also adds even more excitement and energy to LEAF, delivering a guilt-free yet exhilarating driving experience that can be enjoyed by every car enthusiast," said Hideaki Watanabe, Corporate Vice President, Nissan Motor Company and head of the company’s electric vehicle business unit.

UPDATE 01/29/13: The Nissan Leaf NISMO has been green lighted for production, which should be good news for the struggling model. The only caveat is that the model will be available only in Japan with no performance enhancements.

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2011 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC

2011 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC

Whoever believed electric cars couldn’t be fun clearly did not see Nissan’s latest racing concept, the Leaf Nismo RC. Okay, some may call it ridiculous, but the fact that we’re all going electric one day makes this new concept a sight to behold. Basically, Nissan has taken their Leaf model, added full carbon fiber bodywork, a tweaked engine, and some much needed graphics to turn their "green" little hatchback into what they are hoping will be a spunky racer.

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept features full carbon fiber monocoque bodywork with removable front and rear sections, fixed windows, LED headlights and taillights, and a driver-adjustable rear wing. The concept is painted in a special Pearl White paint with blue NISMO/Zero Emission graphics. Compared to the production version model, the RC Concept is 3.9 inches shorter, 0.8 inches longer, 6.7 inches wider, and 13.8 inches lower. The changes made to it accomplished a 40% weight loss.

For the powertrain, Nissan used a high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor that delivers a total of 107 HP and a peak torque of 207 lbs-ft. This motor is charged by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules. Unlike the production version Leaf, the RC concept’s electric motor shoots power to the rear wheels. At the first testings, the Nismo RC concept made the 0 to 62 mph sprint in 6.85 seconds and hit a top speed of 93 mph. In racing condition, it has an autonomy of 20 minutes.

The Nissan Leaf Nismo RC concept will be making special demonstration appearances at various motorsports venues in 2011, but first it will be displayed at the 2011 New york Auto Show.

UPDATE 05/16/2011: Nissan has unveiled a new video of the Leaf Nismo RC showing the concept being tested at the Sodegaura Forest Raceway on May 13, 2011. Hit the jump for the video.

Updated 06/03/2011: Nissan announced that the Leaf Nismo RS will make two demonstration runs at the Le Mans series: the first at 21:15 on Thursday, June 9th and the second at 12:10 on Saturday, June 11th local time. With this occasion the company has revealed new images of the racing car. You will find them in out picture gallery.

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2010 Nissan Leaf

2010 Nissan Leaf

In a very bold move Nissan Jidosha Kabushiki-gaisha has made history by unveiling their first zero emissions vehicle intended for mass production. In an attempt to skip the gas/electric hybrid craze and jump directly into plug in electric vehicles, it might appear that Carlos Gohsen is set on taking over the world like a James Bond villain with the long awaited lithium ion beattery technology. This past Sunday the Japanese automaker unveiled the Nissan Leaf, a five door electric vehicle with a 100+ Mile range at their home base in Yokohama. The Leaf features a sharp, upright V-shaped body with a pair of slanted LED headlights that were designed to cleverly split and redirect airflow away from the door mirrors, thus reducing wind, noise and drag.

Those top secret batteries that we were talking about are made up of laminated lithium ion cells that are capable of delivering over 90 kW of power and weigh only 440 pounds. The battery pack sends it stored energy to the Leaf’s front mounted electric drive motor that only outputs 80 of those kilowatts for a maximum output of 107 HP. The interesting thing about an electric motor is that they make their peak torque at 0 RPM, we know this sounds crazy, but unlike the internal combustion engine, the amount of energy an electric motor can do is based upon how it was made and it delivers that power at one constant amount. That is a healthy 208 lb-ft of torque. The instantaneous power should provide off the line acceleration comparable to the Infiniti G35 sports car.

Of course the question with any purely electric vehicle is how long will it take to charge? Nissan claims that the Leaf will take 8 hours for a full charge from a 200 V source; so a high capacity 220 V outlet is recommended, otherwise it will take twice as long for a full charge from a standard 110 V AC outlet. There is an impressive 50 kW AC fast-charge capability. This allows for an 80% charge of the lithium ion batteries meaning you can go up to 80 miles with only a 30 minute charge, or if you are really in a hurry, you can get an additional 31 miles after being plugged in for only 10 minutes. Although the hardware necessary is a little too expensive for in home use, leave that up to your local municipality. The disadvantage of having to run with all that electronic gear onboard is the excess weight, however because it can be mounted low in the chassis it should make for a decent handling package.

Press release after the jump.

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