The Leaf was leaked onto the internet via Twitter
Design will take influence from the new Micra; Leaf is confirmed to be available with Nissan’s Pro Pilot semi-autonomous driving system
Pictures of the next Nissan Leaf have been leaked onto the internet less than a month before it is due to be revealed.
The upcoming all-electric hatchback was photographed by a Twitter user in a Nissan Oppama factory in Japan, where production of the car will be handled, showing its exterior design in full for the first time.
There’s little doubt as to the authenticity of the images, as the cars pictured do appear very similar to those previewed officially by Nissan and spotted by our spy photographers. They show a more angular nose, sharper headlights and sleeker bodyshape.
Nissan’s most recent official picture (below) was released last week and backed claims that the upcoming second-generation Leaf will be significantly more aerodynamic, by showing how it cleanly works the air.
The all-electric hatchback, due for reveal on 6 September, has been engineered to maximise range with a slipperier exterior helping the model to be capable of driving for up to 340 miles on each charge.
That’s more than twice the range of the outgoing car and would cement the Leaf at the top of its class in this respect, beating the latest Renault Zoe by about 90 miles.
The gains will also come thanks to new battery pack options for the Leaf that will enable Nissan to sell it with a variety of specs, as Tesla does with its models. The largest battery could double the 30kWh lithium ion pack found in the highest-spec version of the current Leaf.
Nissan is aiming to make the Leaf the segment’s most autonomous-capable model, with Pro Pilot Park technology its newest system. Using sonars and cameras, the car will be able to park itself in parallel, angled, front or straight back-in parking spots, handling throttle, braking and steering input.
This park assist system will come as part of the car’s Propilot tech, which also includes a single-lane semi-autonomous feature. It will be Nissan’s most advanced autonomous model on sale.
The new car’s design appears to be inspired by the Micra, as shown by sightings of development cars (see gallery), with sharper lines on the body and a more aggressively stooped nose.
When the future Leaf arrives on roads next year, it will lead Nissan’s charge to grow EVs to represent 20% of its sales by 2020.