Nissan Australia has confirmed it will add the long-awaited e+ variant to its Leaf line-up in the first half of next year, with the new all-electric vehicle to extend the small hatchback’s driving range and increase its power and torque.
Revealed in January 2019, the e+ ups the ante over the regular Leaf with its 160kW/340Nm electric motor (+50kW/20Nm) and 62kWh lithium-ion battery (+22kWh) that provides 385km of WLTP driving range (+115km).
These figures put the e+ well ahead of the rivalling Hyundai Ioniq Electric small hatchback (from $48,970 plus on-road costs), which has a 100kW/295Nm electric motor and a 38.3kWh lithium-ion battery that serves up 311km of WLTP driving range.
Due to its 55 per cent increase in battery size over the regular Leaf, the e+ takes 11.5 hours (+4 hours) to charge from 20 to 80 per cent when using a 7kW AC wallbox, but plugging into a 50kW DC fast charger reduces the charging time to 90 minutes (+30 minutes).
The e+ also serves up a decent bump in performance over the regular Leaf, with it capable of sprinting from a standstill to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds (-0.6s) while on the way to a top speed of its 157km/h (+13km/h).
An update for the Leaf was revealed in Japan last December, so it’s possible the e+ set for a local release will features its upgrades, which include a 9.0-inch touchscreen (up from 8.0 inches), the latest multimedia system, a Wi-Fi hotspot and smartphone connectivity.
Smoother adaptive cruise control, active blind-spot monitoring and quicker park assist are also likely to be part of the update alongside a shark-fin antenna and two new paintwork options: Vivid Blue and Stealth Grey.
Interestingly, the upgrades should also include Canto, which is Nissan’s new signature sound for EVs. It is projected externally at speeds up to 30km/h, increasing pedestrian awareness driving at low speed or reversing.
The regular Leaf is currently priced from $49,990 plus on-road costs and is offered in a single specification, so don’t be surprised if the e+ comfortably breaks the $50,000 barrier. Either way, pricing and full specification details will be released closer to its launch.