Design chief Alfonso Albaisa told Autocar that adding a “racier version” with Nismo trim could help the second-gen hatch reach image-conscious buyers — something its predecessor 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.”
Albaisa said it would be easy to develop Nismo parts for the new Leaf. Such a practice isn’t new to Nissan because it offers Nismo trim on several models, including the Juke.
A hotter Leaf E-Plus is also due in 2019. It will have higher-capacity batteries and a stiffer structure. A Nismo pack could make such a model constitute a performance variant.