But will Nissan take it one step further with a Nismo version?
The second generation Nissan Leaf is a huge improvement over the first generation, with an improved 150 mile range. This is better than the original car's 107 mile range, but is far less than the Chevy Bolt or Tesla Model 3. Nissan was reportedly working on a longer range "E-Plus" version, and Autoguide now reports that it should arrive as a 2019 model. Along with this information, Nissan's director of EV Marketing and Sales Strategy, Brian Maragno, gave a bit more information about the Leaf E-Plus.
As expected, the car will receive a larger, more powerful battery than the current 40 kWh version. The current Leaf is rated at 142 horsepower, but the E-Plus will have around 200. Maragno said the larger battery would allow for a more powerful motor, but the current 40 kWh pack would be drained to quickly with more power. We know the E-Plus will appear as a 2019 model, but Nissan didn't give any more information about a specific release date or price. The current Leaf starts at just under $30,000. Nissan also remained tight lipped about the possibility of a Leaf Nismo, which would likely be based on the long range E-Plus.
The addition of a long range Leaf could help make a Nismo version more viable, as a more powerful motor would require a larger battery pack. A more powerful Nismo version would be interesting, but Nissan really needs to focus on giving the Leaf a longer battery range, putting it on par with its rivals.