One of the best selling electric cars, the Nissan Leaf, has just got an upgrade. Actually no, it’s not just an upgrade, it’s a whole new mantra. Nissan has taken what was a happy little city-dwelling friend of a car, and given it a backbone.
This car, based on the Leaf e+ looks to the greatest hot hatches in the world and aligns what we loved about those cars with an electric chassis. In terms of specification, this means it’s been given two motors, one for each axle, meaning all four of its wheels are driven. And unlike the current Leaf, this one’s no push over, with 304hp and 501 lb-ft to play with.
There are no figures to daydream over, but Nissan have commented saying that this setup enables “highly responsive, yet uncommonly smooth, acceleration.” The Leaf e+ with 214hp and 251lb ft of torque would be left in the dust by such a potent dual motor setup, and with the modern looks of the Leaf, I could certainly see this becoming a popular choice amongst those who prefer the smell of fuel but forced to rely on batteries.
It boasts plenty of the preferences we like in a back road toy, including 17-inch Volk Racing forged wheels and wider, more muscled arches to cover a slightly wider track. The car’s slightly shorter to increase agility, and its lowered to give it a sporting presence. Inside, there’s a 12.3-inch display which allows the driver to monitor real-time information on the car while driving.
Yeah, it sounds good doesn’t it? Well, there’s a downside. Unfortunately, Nissan isn’t keen on releasing this to the market, but it has shown that Nissan know exactly what we want in a hot hatch, regardless of the method of propulsion. Plus, it wets our appetite for what they’ve got coming soon, a “next-generation EV that will be a true breakthrough.”