Nissan’s Tokyo-bound concept previews a more conventional-looking Leaf

Nissan Tokyo concept teaser

Nissan is preparing to introduce a brand-new concept car whose design will hint at what we can expect the next all-electric Leaf to look like. The yet-unnamed concept will be presented at this year’s edition of the biennial Tokyo Motor Show.

Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s head of design, told Green Car Reports that the next Leaf will get a more conservative, less geeky design than the 2016 model in order to appeal to a wider target audience. The concept seemingly reflects that, and it falls in line with Nissan’s current design language thanks to a U-shaped grille, sleek headlights with C-shaped LED daytime running lights, and a bulged hood. Pronounced wheel arches emphasize the concept’s width.

Power comes from an all-electric drivetrain, but Nissan is keeping its lips sealed about precisely what lies under the hood until the Tokyo show opens its doors to the media. Widespread rumors claim the concept is equipped with roughly the same self-driving technology as the recently-introduced Leaf Pilot Drive 1.0 concept.

Stay tuned, Nissan’s next concept will be introduced shortly.

What’s next?

Most likely arriving in 2017, the next Leaf is expected to offer a 250-mile driving range thanks to recent advances in battery technology. It will retain the current model’s four-door hatchback configuration, but insiders suggest Nissan will turn the Leaf into an all-electric sub-brand whose models will eventually include a crossover, a four-door sedan, and a van aimed at commercial buyers.

Infiniti will get its own version of the next-gen Leaf before the decade draws to a close. The nameless model will share its platform and its basic drivetrain with the Leaf, but it will get a brand-specific look and a better-built interior with more tech features. Building an Infiniti on the Leaf platform will give the premium automaker an entry into the hotly contested EV market, and it will allow Nissan to benefit from economies of scale.