Will it be enough to keep the new Leaf competitive?
A leader in this decade’s electric vehicle push, the Nissan Leaf has been left behind by newer models with bigger batteries and more exciting designs. A new version should help keep Nissan in the game, but a low price may help, too.
Already caught in production form ahead of a September unveiling, the new Leaf’s pricing has also reportedly been leaked, as Autoblog has obtained some pricing and specification information for Nissan’s new EV.
"The 2018 Leaf should start at $5,000 less than the least-expensive Tesla Model 3"
According to information now removed from the Autobytel website, the 2018 Leaf is expected to start from $29,995 for a base model S, rising to $36,200 for a top-level Leaf SL. That means the Leaf should start at $5,000 less than the least-expensive Tesla Model 3 (although early examples of that car will be significantly more expensive) and nearly $7,000 less expensive than the Chevrolet Bolt.
However, there’s a catch: the specs show the Leaf will come with a 40kWh battery to start, which is smaller than both the Bolt and Model 3, although an upgrade the 30kWh setup in the current Leaf. Considering the current Leaf is rated at just 107 miles on a charge and Nissan has been promising a 200-mile range for the new car, the 40kWh battery may serve as a cheaper option compared to future variants that may be added.
Other specifications revealed show the 2018 Leaf should have 147 horsepower with 236 pound-feet of torque, also a useful bump over the current Leaf, but well short of the Bolt’s 200 horsepower.
The new Leaf is expected to showcase Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driving system, although it’s unclear on which versions of the car it will be available.
Full details on the 2018 Leaf aren’t due until September 5th. While it looks to be an improvement over the now-dated first-generation model, it’s unclear now if it will be able to be an EV leader once the Bolt and Model 3 are established.