Nissan turning a new Leaf in 2012, offers big upgrades to the little electric

Nissan-turning-a-new-Leaf-in-2012,-offers-up-big-upgrades-to-the-little-electric

The all-electric Nissan Leaf is getting a host of improvements later this year. The Japanese automaker has confirmed a wide array of upgrades for the 2013 model.

In a recent interview with the Detroit News, Mark Perry, director of product and advanced planning for Nissan Americas , confirmed that the 2013 Leaf will get upgrades to the all-electric hatchback’s heating system, as well as snazzy new leather interior options.

Apparently during the early design stages, Nissan considered doing leather interior, but instead opted for a more environmentally friendly approach. “We were like, ‘Ah, let’s do the clean, green recycled materials,'” Perry said. But after enough customers expressed a desire for the option of something a little more stylish than the recycled plastic seats found in the current Leaf, Nissan has now decided to offer something more chic.

Another gripe customers had was the heating system found inside the current Leafs (Leaves?) While most have had no trouble with the current electric-powered air heater, a significant amount of consumers have found a noticeable drop in range: as much as 30 miles, when using the car’s heater.

This, of course, can prove to be a real nuisance – especially in cold weather climates. And while Perry didn’t offer any specifics, he did offer up that the 2013 Leaf will see marked improvement over the 2011/2012 models. “You may not see much change on the EPA rating, but in cold-weather conditions you may see 20 to 25 miles of improvements,” Perry pledged. With EVs more miles are always welcome.

Finally, there is talk of a 6.6 kilowatt charger in the works for the Leaf, but that’s all it is at the moment – just talk.

It’s great to see Nissan listening to its customers and attempting to build upon what has already been a successful platform. It looks like Nissan is not content with resting on its laurels. Of course, we imagine the biggest boost Nissan will be looking to see is improvement to the Leaf’s sales. It’s already the best-selling electric car in the United States – and only recently became available in all 50 states.

According to Perry, the Leaf is on track to double sales in 2012. In 2011, Nissan sold sold about 9,700 Leafs in the United States alone — outselling the Chevrolet Volt, which managed about 7,600 last year.

To meet those figures, Nissan will begin manufacturing the 2013 Leaf in the U.S. at the automaker’s Smyrna plant in Tennessee. No word yet on whether that will help offset pricing for the 2013 Leaf.

Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Product Review

Bigger battery and folding top add appeal, but BMW’s i8 remains ultra-niche

Want a high-performance vehicle that's more than just a frightening driving experience? Desire the look and feel of a sports car with the road manners of a luxury commuter? The BMW i8 is for you.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Cars

The hottest of all Mini hatches is coming with a Batman-approved design

The Mini John Cooper Works GP concept first seen at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show will go into production in 2020, Mini has confirmed. The John Cooper Works GP is the ultimate performance version of the Mini Cooper.
Cars

Report: Amazon and General Motors may invest in electric pickup company Rivian

General Motors and Amazon may invest between $1 billion to $2 billion for minority stakes in U.S. startup Rivian, an all-electric truck company, Reuters reports. Rivian introduced the R1T pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto show.
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.