More Power Awaits Buyers of the Long-range Nissan Leaf

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
more power awaits buyers of the long range nissan leaf

Many years ago, back when full-on electric cars were rare oddities, I drove an early first-generation Nissan Leaf in power-sapping Eco mode. It was, to this day, the slowest vehicle I have ever driven. The driver of a 1980s Tercel with a three-speed automatic could have handed me my ass in a stoplight drag race.

That was then, and this is now. The second-gen Leaf, which bowed for 2018, offers buyers 142 horsepower and a generous helping of low-end electric grunt to go with their 151 miles of range. But there’s another beast arriving for 2019 that should satisfy those looking for more miles and more horses.

According to AutoGuide, the long-awaited long-range version of the Leaf won’t just go the distance — it’ll do so in a much swifter manner.

Said to possess over 200 miles of all-electric driving range, the Leaf gains an E-Plus variant for 2019, which means additional power. Some 58 extra ponies, Nissan says. Speaking at a Formula E event, Brian Maragno, Nissan’s director of EV Marketing and Sales Strategy, said the Leaf E-Plus will arrive with 200 hp on tap. The extra output is the product of not having to worry about draining a considerably smaller battery.

“A larger capacity battery lends itself towards two things — one is obvious — more range,” said Maragno. “The other one, which is maybe a little less obvious, but equally as true, is additional horsepower and output.”

The new variant should join the stock 40 kWh model in the Nissan line late this year or early next, allowing the automaker to properly challenge Chevrolet’s Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3. Whether or not the upgraded Leaf also arrives in performance-minded NISMO form remains to be seen.

“We haven’t made any announcements in the U.S. relative to a Nismo version of the car, so who knows what will happen, but there’s really no announcement there,” Maragno said.

Leaf sales fell to a trickle during the changeover period between the two models, a period spanning last October through this January. Because of this, year-to-date volume shows a decline of 8.1 percent. Still, the new generation didn’t result in a large uptick in sales once a critical mass of vehicles made it to dealer lots. June volume fell 9.2 percent, year over year.

[Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy/TTAC]

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  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Jul 16, 2018

    Intriguing. This will make the Leaf a worthy competitor to the Bolt, and probably also make the Leaf as expensive as the Bolt.

    • Malforus Malforus on Jul 17, 2018

      Yup the E-plus trim level will absolutely come with higher cost since the biggest line item in an EV is the battery.

  • Zipster Zipster on Jul 17, 2018

    Ticketing non- electric vehicles parked in charging spots is one more thing our very busy police will not be able to do. Sorry about that.

  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.
  • William I'm a big fan of 70s Lincolns. I really liked the 1980s Mark Vl. I thought it was very classy, and I never thought of it as a restyled Town Car. I did own a 1990 LSC, it was black over black leather interior. I loved the LSC as soon as they were introduced. I loved the sound of the duel exhaust, I thought it fit the car perfectly. I never had any problems with it. The 5.0 is a great engine, and never had any issues with the air suspension system. It had the the analog dash and I made good use of the message center. I highly recommend this Mark. The black paint and interior fit the car and me perfectly.