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Nissan's new LEAF offers greater range and enhanced driving experience

Nissan's new LEAF offers greater range and enhanced driving experience

The all-new Nissan LEAF has taken the electric car market by storm, offering an extensive driving range, enhanced practicality, a host of new equipment and a better experience behind the wheel.

Having originally launched in 2011, the LEAF has grown to become the world's most popular all-electric vehicle. The new model is set to build on that reputation with over 100 changes to the multi-award winning car.
 
Under the bonnet
 
The LEAF comes with a host of technical improvements in the new model, including a fully integrated powertrain, which represents the most important mechanical enhancement. It brings together the charger assembly, inverter and the motor together for the first time as a single stack.
 
It is still based on the high-response 80kW AC synchronous motor powered by Nissan's 48-module compact lithium-ion batteries. However, this has been moved underneath the cabin area, which lowers the centre of gravity of the vehicle to improve handling.
 
What's more, moving the charger from the rear of the vehicle has opened up 40 litres of space to the luggage area, which is around the size of a typical aeroplane 'carry-on' suitcase and bringing the total boot capacity to 370 litres.
 
The Eco driving mode has been enhanced, providing motorist with a new 'B' option, which increases regenerative braking during deceleration. A separate 'Eco' button found on the steering wheel serves to extend driving range by making changes to throttle mapping to reduce rapid acceleration. What's important about these two modes, however, is that they can be run independently of each other.
 
Another important alteration is the reduction in internal friction with the e-Powertrain, which makes for more efficient battery and energy management. Meanwhile, the length of time drivers will spend refuelling their batteries has also dropped, with a conventional charge falling from eight to four hours. LEAF owners will also have a 6.6kW on-board charger to hand to give their battery a quick boost during a short stopover.
 
Design
 
The biggest change to the outside of the vehicle comes in the form of a subtly revamped front grille, which helps to improve aerodynamics. This assists in pushing the Nissan LEAF's driving range towards 124 miles, which is up from 109 miles on the previous model.
 
Drivers will, however, have more options to customise the appearance of their LEAF, with a new range of styling, design and trim finishes to choose from. The Visia model, for example, has 16-inch steel wheels with full covers, halogen headlights and black door mirror caps, while the Acenta has 16-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, suede fabric trim and body coloured mirror caps.
 
The colour palettes from which buyers can pick from has extended to seven too, with solid, pearl and metallic finishes now available.
 
In the cabin, the seats have been overhauled to provide better support to the driver and passengers, as well as offering the ability to adjust height. They are also covered with a new bio-fabric, which is 100 per cent created from sugar cane to boost the vehicle's recyclability and reduce its eco footprint.
 
Equipment
 
Music lovers will be drawn to the new Nissan LEAF thanks to the inclusion of a high performance Bose audio system developed specifically for use in the vehicle. The energy efficiency iteration, which is both more compact and uses half the electricity, offers a powerful listening experience for those that like to play their favourite songs while behind the wheel.
 
The Carwings Navigation system has also been overhauled, allowing owners to control features remotely from a computer or mobile device using Google's Send-to-Car technology. New tools are also included to allow motorists to manage heating and air-conditioning functions, eco-routing and real-time information on where the nearest charge points are. Meanwhile, voice recognition and smartphone integration has been enhanced.
 
Parking and difficult manoeuvres have been made easier with Nissan's Around View Monitor, which uses a 360-degree overhead view of the vehicle on the central display.
 
"When it was launched, Nissan LEAF represented a step into the unknown. Two years later it has established itself as viable solution to the world's transport and environmental problems. The new LEAF is ready to spread the word even wider," said Paul Willcox, senior vice present of sales and marketing at Nissan Europe.

Posted by Craig SalterADNFCR-3205-ID-801578533-ADNFCR