Nissan turns over a new Leaf EV with more range and power, sleeker style

Leaf Juice

Back in the day – well, back in 2010 at least – if you wanted to drive an electric car, you had two choices: Build your own (which could be cool or a total disaster), or buy a sort of funny-looking little thing called the Nissan Leaf EV. That’s right, just seven years ago, there was no Tesla Model S, no Chevy Bolt, no Fisker Karma. Just the little Leaf, and now the green car pioneer has gotten a big makeover for 2018.

The biggest revision for the first mass-produced EV is range, and the Leaf now gets 150 miles on a charge, a big bump over its original 107 mile range, but still short of the 200-plus miles the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model III are promising. Other improvements include more horsepower and torque, as well as an upgraded suite of Pro Pilot driver-assist tech that leaves it just short of being able to drive itself, although Nissan says that ability may be coming soon.

On the outside, the Leaf gets a stylistic makeover that dials back the bug-eye headlights and gives the car a much sportier stance. We dig it. The freshened-up Leaf will set you back between $32,000 and $36,000 depending on options, but that’s before any state and Federal incentives, so at the end of the day, it could cost you considerably less. And remember: No more buying gas, ever. Check out all the details about the new 2018 Nissan Leaf.

Cooler to the touch

Apple’s iPhone 8 debut is just days away, but Samsung is trying to steal some of its thunder with the Galaxy Note 8, their follow-up to the disaster that was the occasionally flammable Note 7. Suspect naming choices aside, we gotta say the Note 8 is a solid phone that apparently doesn’t have any of the self-immolating problems of its predecessor.

DT Mobile Editor Julian Chokkattu has been putting the Note 8 through its paces and gives the big 6.3-inch AMOLED display especially high marks. The phone also features a dual rear camera setup that lets you do that blurred background thing like the iPhone 7 Plus, and we found photos from the phone to be top notch. And we can’t forget the cool S-Pen stylus that adds a whole new dimension to what you can do with the Note 8. Very cool indeed.

All in all, there’s a whole lot to like about the Galaxy Note 8, except maybe the price, which edges toward a thousand bucks for a handset with all the goodies, but that’s kind of where things are at for the best of the best. Check out Julian’s thorough test and review of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Maybe Tommy Wiseau has Room on his schedule

Star Wars fans felt a disturbance in The Force yesterday with news that Episode 9 director Colin Trevorrow has parted ways with the movie.

According to Lucasfilm, Treverrow dropped out due to the usual “irreconcilable disagreements over creative control.” In other words, the Jurassic World director didn’t like the direction the movie was headed, which may be a cause for concern. It’s another round of bad news from the Star Wars universe, which is overseen by Disney. The upcoming Han Solo biopic has also seen its original directorial team bail out, with Mr. Reliable Ron Howard stepping up there.

So who’s going to take the reins to helm one of the central episodes of the Star Wars storyline? No word yet, but we’re sure there’s no shortage of filmmakers who’d love to put their name on a Star Wars epic, so we’ll just have to be patient and see whose name pops up.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Close to the Metal (computers and such) on Tuesday, Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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