The Leaf is pretty much based on the Megane-sized Tiida, although the platform has been heavily modified. The Leaf’s floorpan pressing has been re-worked so its can accommodate Nissan’s own design of compact battery packs. This means the interior and luggage space of the Leaf are completely uncompromised.
The car’s drivetrain couldn’t be more straightforward: an electric motor (good for 80Kw (107bhp) and 206lb ft of torque) drives the front wheels through a single-speed transmission. It should travel 140km (87 miles) on a single charge.
Although the Leaf has a limited top speed, nobody could complain about the car’s acceleration. It is extremely swift and, even in this Tiida-bodied prototype, superbly quiet. Nissan engineers promise the Leaf is quieter still.
Moreover, the seamless surge of speed is made all the better because there’s no interruption from transmission shifting ratios. It’s an automotive sensation unlike any other.
An ordinary household electricity supply will charge the car up ineight hours. However, the Leaf is also in 24hr contact with a central data system. This allows the driver to activate the charger by email as well being able to see a live update display of the car’s charging status.
Leaf owners will also be able to start the car’s air-con system remotely and will even get an email estimate of the cost of the eight hourr re-charge.