Future Cars: 2018 Nissan Leaf Keeps Things Familiar

Nissan’s Leaf was a breath of fresh air when launched back in 2010; a modern-looking, compact hatch that helped bring electric motoring within reach of the average consumer. Yet despite strong sales, the competition has stepped up its game with more recent EV entries like Chevrolet’s Bolt.

Not to be left behind, the Japanese manufacturer has been hard at work developing the next generation version. What will it look like and what can we expect? Well let’s delve further:

IDS Concept-Inspired Styling

In 2015, Nissan revealed the IDS autonomous EV concept, which was said to be a strong pointer for the next Leaf. Fast forward to today, and whilst elements of the show car will make into production, the overall look is worlds apart.

Instead, the new EV will be a visual crossbreed between the latest Micra supermini and out-going Leaf. Frontal styling will be headlined by a mono-tooth, V-Motion grille, chiseled lower bumper and wedge-shaped headlamps.

The view from the side will be fairly conventional; tall and stubby proportions, floating roof and a blacked-out C-Pillar up-kink (not too different to the Chevy Bolt) are the go here. Out back, the hatch will be dominated by horizontal thin-wedge tail lamps and a subtle rear diffuser.

Under The Skin

Perhaps the biggest nuisance with the current Leaf is the limited range. At 107 miles, it lags behind Chevrolet’s Bolt (238 miles), the upcoming Tesla Model 3 (at least 215 miles), Hyundai Ioniq EV (124 miles) and BMW’s quirky i3 (114 miles). 
It’s believed that Nissan will remedy this by offering both 40 kWh and 60-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery packs, with the latter providing range well past the 200 mile mark. This should see an increase in performance too, perhaps with the 0-60 sprint nudging into the 7-second bracket for the larger battery version.

Self-Driving Capabilities

At January’s Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan revealed the next-generation Leaf would be equipped with its own ProPilot autonomous driving technology.

This will allow the new Leaf to be operated in self-drive mode, on single lane highway environments. Further updates over time, will extend capabilities to include multi-lane self-driving and a Seamless Autonomous Mobility command centre – for self-drive vehicles caught up in problematic situations.

On The Street

Look for a world premiere of the 2018 Leaf this fall, with pricing, features and specs to be announced at that time. Deliveries are tipped to start before Christmas.

Finally, what do you think – has Nissan done enough to lure more mainstream buyers into the electric car fold? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

By Josh Byrnes

Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes

Photo Gallery

  • WG

    The rendering looks nice. But if that resembles the next Leaf’s design, then it seems like Nissan’s newer cars are just based on their new Micra’s design with some design tweaks.

  • Evo45

    This render could make me think that it’s a new Pulsar.

    • Infinite1

      That’s a good thing since the existing Leaf is so ugly

  • Craig

    I have never driven an electric car. I look forward to seeing what it’s like. I would imagine – with no gas or diesel back up engine – I would probably develop a severe case of ‘range anxiety’.

    • TomPGreene

      Come on in, the water is fine. You will quickly get used to the smoothness, fast acceleration, quiet, and lack of exhaust stink / poison. You can say goodbye to gas stations because you will charge at home. There are thousands of public charging stations in the US, no need for range anxiety. Just stop by and top off for 15 minutes if you are low on charge.

    • Six Thousand Times

      Well, don’t road trip but around town, you’re fine. And they’re kind of a hoot, the damn things just fly off the line.

    • Rob Kay

      You might indeed, but after four years of pure electric driving, 45,000 miles, and not a single breakdown due to low battery, I can assure you that it is really no different from filling a petrol car: if you are running low you simply need to stop and charge up at a convenient rapid or destination charger. I;ve made several trips of 350 miles – it takes a bit longer because of the extra stops, but safety advisers suggest that – even if you have a cast-iron bladder – you still shouldn’t drive more than two hours continuously without taking a break and stretching your legs to get the alertness and circulation going.

    • TheBelltower

      You’ll really enjoy it. I thought I’d only use my i3 solely for commuting, while driving my other cars the rest of the time. But it’s way more enjoyable than I expected. It’s a different experience entirely. Getting into a gas powered car now feels like driving a tractor. There are definite drawbacks and benefits to EVs.

    • Pa Teich

      The range anxiety goes away after a week. I have been driving electric for four years, have never run out of power.

      I had a Leaf, then moved on to an i3.

  • Honda NSX-R

    Looks nice.

    • BqWsRe

      If you are over 80.

  • Braddo

    Let’s hope it doesn’t have the floating roof on the C pillar. It’s being done to death

    • emjayay

      It’s a Nissan. It will.

    • Delcy Voisine

      Worse then the floating roof is the silly rear side-wall fin that first appeared on the Murano.

  • alemaomazda

    Both range & battery capacity don’t match for current model neither the future leaf according to your previous article: http://www.carscoops.com/2016/06/nissan-aims-for-340-mile-550-km-range.html?m=1

    • BqWsRe

      Embarrassing…not even close to the Chevy Bolt.

  • Navy P. Morroccan ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Not a bad looking rendering compared to the unprepossessing Nissan Leaf currently on sale. The Chevrolet Volt has always had a more traditional modern car look than a Leaf in my opinion.

  • Paul

    The only thing I see not to like about it is the rear quarter window. It looks copied from the Murano and so much for rear ride visibility from the driver seat.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Pop-art wheels? Love ’em!

  • JBsC6

    AT least it’s not horribly ugly…should sell better of it looks good as shown above and has a 200 mile range

    • BqWsRe

      But why is its range less than a Chevy Bolt when it is being released later?

      Shows who is now the true tech leader. Hence all the talk about “looks.”

      • Oscar

        Bolt is sub-compact in real life. Leaf is closer to a true mid size. I’ve been in both and they’re vastly different sized.

  • Bash

    if this is how its going to look, I’m fine with it.
    Looks better than the current model.

    • BqWsRe

      And way behind in launch to the Chevy Bolt with less range.

  • BqWsRe


  • Tumbi Mtika

    But the IDs concept…

  • Joey
  • JJ

    Less JaJa Binks… now more “Chipmunk”…! 🙂

  • Rob Kay

    Seems to be an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ New Leaf, rather that something very radical, which is probably OK, because there is nothing wrong with the current Leaf that couldn’t be improved by 40 kWh and 60 kWh battery options. The Leaf is what it is, a great and very popular electric car that can take four people and their luggage in comfort, and is incredibly cheap to run. If you want a different design, there are plenty of other competitors coming up, some conventionally styled like the Zoe, others eye catching like the Smart, BMW and Tesla ranges: choice is a good thing but my guess is the the Leaf will continue to be the best-selling electric car for some time to come because of its attractive looks, comfort, convenience and great driving experience.

  • TheBelltower

    Huge improvement over the current Leaf. The biggest drawback of the current leaf is the feeble range. Unless it is available with a range extending gas engine, 107 miles isn’t close to being enough. The Bolt is the new benchmark, for now.

  • Blade t

    This looks better , if they would style the ev’s better. they would sell way more. the current leaf is terrible looking….

  • Ross G

    Well isn’t that just a disappointment.

    Yes more range is amazing and important. But to show the IDS concept and not produce or use more from it will hurt them in sales. You have Tesla with the anticipated Model 3 and their charging network. To compete against that, you need a wow factor. To only tweak and not upgrade the Leaf kills that. You need people to be so wow by it they over look the short comings. Yes, I wouldn’t have excepted the interior to be that advance until a 2020 model but I would have been ok with a more traditional interior. But to have those visual cues, that Windshield that comes up and back like the Tesla Model X for a 35k price tag. That right there would have sold people. That would be something Tesla wouldn’t be offering and that would have boosted their sales.

    I am a current Prius, Leaf, and Model 3 reservation holder. I have been able to see where automotive manufacturers have mad progress and where they failed and it killed that product where the competition has been able to soar past them. This maybe one of those cases. To have a Leaf that competes with the Chevy Bolt will be critical but you need it to compete it against the Model 3 which is where it will fail. That’s why their current sales are slumping and have been since the Model 3 announcement.

    Release the IDS Nissan or get out of the way.

  • emjayay

    OK,it’s obviously past time to start charging electric cars for the state and federal taxes that they evade while driving on the roads and highways and bridges that those taxes make possible. Every time an electric car owner crows about how cheap they are to run they are in part talking about using publicly owned resources without paying for them. And our federal gas taxes are way too low already, having lost about a third of their value since the last increase due to inflation.

  • Jeffrey Lee Virgin


  • KidRed

    Rear c-pillar area looks like a Scion xa.

  • DJ

    At least the big booty is gone. lol

  • Paul

    It looks like it got it on with a Murano. That’s fine because anything is better than the current one.

  • Clickbait, or dare I say “Fake News.” We know Nissan will do something with the battery and they have been telling anyone who will listen about self driving technology. The new LEAF will no doubt have a similar configuration to the current model and is likely to share Nissan design DNA, but no way will it have such needlessly bad aerodynamics.

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