Nissan Leaf-based electric SUV to be unveiled next month

Nissan unveils new LEAF complete with e-Pedal and improved range

What's more game-changing, though, is the way that Nissan in-part achieves this range: the e-Pedal. The new Nissan LEAF will also be available in two-tone colours.

Besides the electric powertrain with a range of 400 kilometres, the Leaf also comes with Pro Pilot, Nissan's version of autonomous drive, using various sensors including cameras and a sonar. Nissan's new Leaf electric vehicle goes father on a charge and comes with autonomous drive technology and single-pedal driving.

"We took something that was hitting 90 percent of the usage scenes and we made it 40 percent better", said Chris Reed, Nissan's vice president of component engineering, at a meeting with reporters before the Technology in Motion conference Wednesday here.

On the hardware side, the new Leaf's 40-kWh lithium-ion battery pack offers up to 150 miles of range (up from 107 miles) while the electric motor now delivers 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque (up from 107 hp and 187 lb-ft).

The all-new LEAF features two new intelligent driving technologies in the North American marketplace. The first is ProPILOT advanced driver assistance system which has been created to make single lane driving on the road less stressful and more relaxing. This extra power should give the Leaf improved acceleration and, hopefully, a sportier driving experience. It lets drivers start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. If you release it, the leaf will come to a "smooth and complete stop" without you needing to press the brake pedal. The reactiveness of e-Pedal helps maximize driving pleasure.

Yutaka Sanada, Head of Asia and Oceania for Nissan, explained that even though the new electric hatch won't sell in big numbers without incentives it was important for the brand to have the Leaf in Australian showrooms. "However, Nissan will face more competition as there are other quite similar new vehicles on the market", he added. It combines an excellent use of space with functionality.

The new interior of the Leaf offers plenty of space for driver and passenger and the overall ambience are enhanced by the choice of materials, which are nicely blended. Vibrant blue stitching in the seats, instrument panel and steering wheel have been incorporated as a symbol of Nissan's electric vehicles. The simple lay out of the instrument panel, center console and screen and the 7-inch, full-color TFT display, which was redesigned to make it easier to read and to accommodate the signals from ProPilot.

The new Nissan LEAF will go on sale on October 2nd in Japan and in the coming months in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Its best sales year in the US was 2014, when 30,200 units were delivered.

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