MOTORING NEWS - In just three months since the new Nissan LEAF was announced, Nissan has revealed that it has already received more than 12 000 orders for the latest model, even though it will not arrive at European showrooms until February.
That means that one is sold every 12 minutes in Europe.
The new Nissan LEAF is the next generation of the world's best-selling zero-emission electric vehicle.
More than 283 000 customers have bought the first generation LEAF since it went on sale in 2010.
The new version promises greater range, improved design, advanced driver assistance technology and enhanced connectivity.
The new Nissan LEAF is the most advanced and accessible 100% electric vehicle. It also represents Nissan Intelligent Mobility, their blueprint for the way customers drive and how vehicles are powered and integrated into society.
According to Philippe Saillard, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Nissan Europe, the car is more enjoyable, connected and exciting to drive than any other mainstream electric vehicle.
Following the new LEAF's European debut at the Nissan Futures 3,0 event in October, the car has attracted huge interest among new and existing electric vehicle drivers.
Nissan South Africa says, "The new Nissan LEAF will officially be launched later this year at the Tokyo motor show where the global roll-out plan will be announced.
"Our local product planning team is in discussion with our parent company regarding plans for introduction in Southern Africa. At this point we are looking towards the last quarter of the year, although this is not confirmed."
With an overall length of 4,49m, width of 1,79m, height of 1,54m and a wheelbase of 2,70m, the new Nissan LEAF features a sleek profile with excellent aerodynamics and a coefficient of drag (Cd) of 0,28.
Familiar from the Nissan design are boomerang-shaped lamps and a 'V-motion' front surround, while the blue elements such as the front grille and rear bumper's moulding highlight the 100% electric, zero emission character of the car.
It is available in ten exterior colours: arctic solid white, solid red, bronze metallic, gun metallic, spring cloud, blade silver, magnetic red, pearl white, metallic black and two-tone with pearl white body and a metallic black roof.
The new Nissan LEAF has a redesigned interior, which is focused on the driver and combines space with functionality.
The design features vibrant blue stitching on the seats, dashboard and steering wheel, creating a relaxed ambience and high-quality feel.
A 435-litre boot and foldable 60/40 split rear seat offers variable storage options with utility, making it a perfect family car.
Maximum luggage capacity with folded seats is 1,176 litres.
The new e-powertrain delivers 110kW of power and 320Nm of torque, improving acceleration to 7,9 seconds from 0 to 100km.
The LEAF has a range of 378km NEDC. Additionally it is the first EV to undergo the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), allowing customers to drive up to 415km in city conditions on a single charge.
This test reflects real life situations accurately, which means drivers can enjoy longer journeys, interconnected by the extended European quick-charging network.
Charging time from alert to 80% (quick charging at 50kW) takes 40 to 60 minutes, and from alert to 100% (with a 7kW wall box charger) takes 7,5 hours.
The new Nissan LEAF offers drivers confidence when it comes to safety. Standard features from entry grade include six airbags (front, side and curtain), ISOFIX child fasteners, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), brake assist (BA) and hill start assist (HSA).
Traffic sign recognition and blind spot warning are also standard from the Visia model, as is intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist recognition.
Advanced safety technology systems such as lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention and rear cross traffic alert are also standard equipment.
The new LEAF is packed with Intelligent Mobility innovative technology, including ProPILOT driver assistance for a safer, more comfortable drive and ProPILOT Park at the touch of a button for fully autonomous parking.
ProPILOT is designed for use within a single lane on a highway, and is optimised for use in heavy traffic or high-speed cruising.
The driver can activate ProPILOT as easily as a conventional cruise control by setting a desired cruising speed and distance.
Supported by radar and camera, ProPILOT will adjust the speed to traffic ahead and keep the car in the centre of the lane.
It can even manage traffic jam situations, making the daily commute more relaxing and reducing fatigue.
In traffic jams, applying the same technology, ProPILOT will automatically manage distance to the car in front and apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary.
After stopping, the vehicle will remain in place even if the driver's foot is off the brake.
Once traffic restarts, the car will resume driving again automatically. If the traffic stops for over 3 seconds, ProPILOT will restart at a simple touch of the accelerator or by pressing on the steering wheel.
The LEAF's revolutionary e-Pedal technology enables acceleration, deceleration and stopping with the simple increase or decrease of the pressure applied to the accelerator.
With a deceleration rate of up to 0,2G, the e-Pedal eliminates the need for drivers to constantly move their foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal to slow down or stop.
By releasing the accelerator, the car will decelerate and come to a complete stop without pressing the brake pedal.
This helps reduce fatigue and stress in daily city driving, allowing the driver to use the brake pedal up to 90% less than in conventional cars.
The LEAF has an improved 7", full-colour display which highlights key features, including information from the audio and navigation systems.
The latest version of the Nissan Connect EV navigation system includes Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. In addition to standard navigation features it also includes real-time information on the nearest charge points.
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