Future Nissan Leaf EV to Have Regionally Tailored Design

By Jacob Brown | April 12, 2012
If you like the Nissan Leaf electric car, believe your purchase of one could help save the world, but utterly detest the styling as bland and underwhelming, Nissan might have a solution for you. Mind you, we say "might" with a very large grain of salt. That's because Nissan is planning to tailor the car with more flair for the European market, with styling unique to that continent. All indications suggest that Asia, Australia, Africa, and the Americas would continue to to receive the same styling as one another for the second-generation Nissan Leaf, however. "We'll fine tune the car for the European customer from a design point of view," says Colin Lawther, vice president of Nissan's European engineering operations to Automotive News. Lawther also said the next Leaf's range will be improved from approximately 100 miles, and it's jerky acceleration would be refined.
Expect those last two upgrades to make it to the U.S. at least. The Nissan Leaf has picked up plenty of awards since being introduced in 2011, including receiving honors as 2011's European Car of the Year. But sales haven't reflected that. In the U.S., the 2012 Nissan Leaf has found just 1,733 new homes through the first three months of the year. Nissan forecasted sales of 20,000 or so for the year now that it's on sale nationally. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn thinks the automaker is still on track to sell 1.5 million electric vehicles cumulatively by 2016. And, indeed, the automaker is headed forward with more cars, including the Nissan Altima Hybrid anticipated after the launch of the all-new 2013 model, an electric version of the Nissan NV200 minivan, which recently because New York City's taxi of choice, and a not-too-distant Infiniti model based on the LE concept that debuted at last week's New York International Auto Show. Automotive.com's take: If the European version of the next-gen Leaf is going to look more stylish than the U.S. version, why not just sell it here, too? Share the love, Nissan. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)