Nissan has revealed the second-generation of its popular electric car, the Leaf. Introduced back in 2010, the Leaf is today the best-selling main-stream electric vehicle in the world. The new model promises greater range, advanced technologies and a new design.
Headlining the new Leaf’s intelligent driving technology are features such as Pro Pilot, Pro Pilot Park, e-Pedal and Safety Shield. Pro Pilot is a single-lane autonomous driving technology that can automatically control the distance to the vehicle in front, using a speed between 30kph and 100kph preset by the driver. It also steers and keeps the vehicle centered in its lane. Much like adaptive cruise control, if the car in front stops, the system will automatically apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary resume driving when the driver touches the switch again or lightly presses the accelerator.
Pro Pilot Park meanwhile is a driver aid that automatically controls acceleration, brakes, handling, shift changing and parking brakes to guide the car into a parking spot. This is done using four high-resolution cameras and information from 12 ultrasonic sensors around the car. The e-Pedal, offered as standard equipment, lets the driver start, accelerate, decelerate, stop, or hold the car by using the accelerator pedal alone. “Drivers of the new Nissan Leaf will quickly come to love the e-Pedal, as it makes the usual experience of urban driving far smoother and more fluid, and less demanding,” said Hiroki Isobe, chief vehicle engineer. “Our testing has showed that drivers quickly find the e-Pedal intuitive and even enjoyable. It promotes anticipation on the road, which in turn has a positive effect on driving pleasure.”
The new Leaf also comes packed with other safety features 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.
The new electric powertrain boasts a power output of 110 kW, 38 per cent more than the previous-generation Leaf, while torque has been increased 26 per cent to 320Nm. But it’s not just performance that’s seen a bump. Driving range has also been increased, with new lithium-ion battery delivering an estimated range of 400km by Japan standards.
The new Nissan Leaf goes on sale on October 2 in Japan, with deliveries to the US, Canada and Europe slated for January 2018. It will eventually be sold in more than 60 markets worldwide.