Nissan confirm Nismo Leaf EV in the works
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During a Nissan Futures event in Norway the company's Senior Vice President for Global Design, Alfonso Albaisa, revealed plans to offer a Nismo model of the second-generation Nissan Leaf.
It's hoped a Nismo-enhanced version of the Leaf would increase the appeal of both the nameplate and EVs to younger new car buyers.
A single image of a Nissan Leaf Nismo concept was shown during Albaisa's presentation, featuring a more aggressive front bumper, side skirts, wheel design and two-tone Nismo colour scheme.
Speaking to AutocarUK, Albaisa said a "racier" Nismo version will be produced to attract more image-conscious buyers, something he admitted the first-generation Nissan Leaf struggled to do.
“The previous Leaf’s design wasn’t popular with the majority of people, so its look couldn’t contribute to sales,” he said.
“The new car is lower, wider and sportier, with the point of this design being to get greater accessibility of the market.”
Nissan revealed the second-generation Leaf earlier this year with fresh styling, 130kw electric motor and 378 km range.
A Leaf E-Plus model is expected in 2019 that will have higher-capacity batteries and stiffer body construction, making for a sportier base for a Nismo Leaf.
It's expected Nissan will unveil the Nissan Leaf Nismo concept shown overnight at the Toyko Motor Show, opening on October 27.
New Zealand will see the standard second-generation Leaf for the first time in 2019, though this will only be for evaluation.
It is not yet known if the new Leaf will go on sale in New Zealand.