The new battery-powered model will go on sale in 2019 and rival models such as the forthcoming VW ID Crozz. Nissan’s electric line-up, which is also likely to include a saloon, will not be called ‘Leaf’ in the manner of, for example, VW’s ID electric-only brand.
Design boss Alfonso Albaisa told Autocar the model will be “a little bigger” than the Nissan Qashqai, which uses traditional petrol and diesel powertrains.
The introduction of a range of electric models based on the new Leaf platform is part of Nissan’s plan for EV sales to be 20% of its business by 2020.
At an advance viewing of the new Leaf in Tokyo, Nissan executives said the car’s structure had been designed with adaptability in mind. Improvements to the chassis over the current Leaf, including lighter weight and improved structural rigidity, will therefore be seen across the electric model family.
This SUV and subsequent EV siblings are expected to use the same 40kWh batteries as the new Leaf to offer a range of about 235 miles. Propilot and Propilot Park autonomous technology will also be shared. From 2018, Propilot will enable automatic lane changes on motorways. Autonomous driving on urban roads and in intersections is due in 2020.
Nissan recently trademarked the name ‘Terra’, which was used on a SUV concept shown in Paris in 2012, but Albaisa said this is not the car being revealed in Tokyo. The Terra concept was an electric equivalent to the Nissan Juke.