Nissan’s next Leaf part of three-part electric onslaught – report

Nissan’s next Leaf part of three-part electric onslaught – report
Nissan’s next Leaf part of three-part electric onslaught – report

Nissan has shown dealers in the USA a trio of next-generation electric vehicles (EVs), including a new Leaf.

Automotive News reports word from dealer sources the three vehicles are due in the second half of this decade.

They comprise a coupe crossover replacement for the Leaf hatchback; a performance sedan that could replace the Maxima; and another crossover on the Ariya’s CMF-EV platform.

The Leaf replacement, despite its SUV shape, will reportedly offer 25 per cent more range than the current car as well as “mini-Ariya” styling. The current Leaf, for reference, offers 270km of WLTP range in standard guise and 385km in the e+.

Chill-Out concept

Nissan also used this dealer conference to showcase its next-generation, combustion-powered Kicks, Murano, and Armada (Patrol) SUVs.

It’s unclear what shape the additional CMF-EV crossover will take. The Ariya is sized similarly to the Toyota RAV4 and is around 100mm shorter than a Nissan X-Trail, so it could be a model to slot in the segment above.

That would give Nissan electric counterparts to the existing Qashqai, X-Trail and Pathfinder.

Nissan did preview a boxier electric SUV earlier this year called the Arizon, previewing a Chinese-market SUV due in 2024.

Upcoming Nissan fastback EV

We have a better idea what the Leaf and Maxima replacements will look like.

It previewed a small electric coupe crossover late in 2021 with the Chill-Out concept, riding on the CMF-EV platform and offering an e-4ORCE dual-motor all-wheel drive system like the larger Ariya.

A few months later, it released a shadowy teaser of two electric passenger cars set to enter production in the US in 2025.

One was clearly a Nissan, the other an Infiniti, and both resembled low-slung fastbacks.

Current LeafCurrent Maxima

These could replace the ageing rear-wheel drive Infiniti Q50 and the front-wheel drive Nissan Maxima, the latter of which is exiting production this year.

The new EV could help fill a vacuum in Nissan’s lineup, as the petrol-powered Nissan Altima sedan is also reportedly being axed at the end of its current lifecycle around mid-decade.

The Altima is similarly sized to the Maxima but differs in being positioned as a more mainstream model, and in also being offered in China. It also features four-cylinder power, unlike the V6-powered Maxima.

Nissan plans to launch 27 electrified vehicles globally by 2030, including 19 battery-electric models.

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