The 2018 Nissan LEAF was unveiled yesterday with pomp and flair. As the best-selling electric car on record, the LEAF is often Nissan’s showcase of new technology. With the 2018 model redesign, Nissan went premium-level while lowering the LEAF’s price tag. To get quick specs on the 2018 Nissan LEAF, follow this link.
Drivers will feel more confident, excited and connected thanks to the new Nissan LEAF’s ProPILOT™ Assist driver assistance technology, e-Pedal, increased power and range, and improved refinement, comfort and convenience.
The new, zero-emission Nissan LEAF embodies Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s approach to changing the way cars are driven, powered and integrated into society. The three key aspects of Nissan Intelligent Mobility exemplified by the new Nissan LEAF are Nissan Intelligent Driving, Nissan Intelligent Power and Nissan Intelligent Integration.
Those statements preface an infographic Nissan created to synopsize the 2018 LEAF’s new technologies:
A new powertrain in the 2018 Nissan LEAF offers 147 horsepower (38 percent more than the previous generation) and 236 foot pounds of torque (26 percent increase). The battery pack for the new LEAF is 67 percent more dense (compared to the first-gen 2010 model), adding range without adding size or weight. The new pack is capable of getting an estimated range of 150 miles per charge. A longer-range model LEAF will be offered in 2019.
To aid charging, the angle of the charging port on the front hood has been changed to become more ergonomic at 45-degrees. Most people will now be able to plug in the LEAF without bending down to reach the plug port.
Other improvements include:
Nissan Intelligent Integration
The new LEAF links drivers, vehicles and communities through the user-friendly NissanConnectSM feature and systems that share power between electric vehicles and homes, buildings and power grids.
Using vehicle-to-home systems, the battery makes it possible to store surplus solar power during the daytime and then use it to help power the home in the evening. The customer can also recharge the battery in the middle of the night, when prices are lowest in some markets, and then use the electricity during the day to reduce energy costs.
In some countries with V2G (vehicle-to-grid) systems, LEAF owners can get incentives from energy companies to improve power grid stability by absorbing demand fluctuation. The system is not offered in the United States at this time.
A newly designed interface on the Nissan LEAF smartphone app allows users to monitor the vehicle’s state of charge, schedule charging to benefit from optimal energy tariffs, find the nearest charging station, and pre-heat or cool the car before getting in.
Chassis and body
In performance and agility, the new LEAF excels. To match the improved output of the electric motor and inverter, Nissan engineers enhanced the car’s chassis for better stability. Heavy components, including the battery, are placed in the center of the body, helping achieve smaller yaw moments of inertia compared with front-engine vehicles and thereby improving directional stability, enabling smoother cornering.
The new LEAF’s electric power steering system has a more linear feel that enhances confidence, especially on highways, with enhanced feedback from the road surface. This is thanks to a software upgrade, new control logic working in conjunction with the steering angle sensor, and a 10 percent increase in steering torsion bar stiffness. Additionally, the urethane bump stop for the rear suspension has been replaced by a rubber stop to reduce shocks and bumpiness when driving on uneven roads.
The new LEAF also comes with Intelligent Ride Control for more precise electric motor torque control generation when cornering, reducing vibration while simultaneously improving ride quality and steering control.
The most obvious change to the 2018 Nissan LEAF versus the previous generation is the exterior. The LEAF’s new design is decidedly more upscale taking design cues from the Nissan Murano and Maxima premium-styled vehicles. A new 3-dimensional mesh pattern on the LEAF’s grille and blue accents throughout the design make sure that the LEAF’s electric status is obvious, however, and the rear combination tail l amps set the LEAF further apart from the Nissan Versa it’s often been confused with.
Inside, the 2018 LEAF has also seen a complete revamp for a more roomy, open feel with the Nissan brand’s “Gliding Wing” styling being its core. Signature vibrant blue stitching mirrors the blue accents on the exterior to bring the electric vibe inside the LEAF. Models equipped with the navigation system and its larger infotainment screen will also have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The new 2018 Nissan LEAF enters showrooms in Japan on October 2 and in the United States in early 2018.