Nissan is about to get a longer-range electric hatch to take on the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq.
The 2021 Nissan Leaf e-Plus is on track to arrive in Australia during the first half of next year, with a claimed 385km of range on the WLTP test cycle, compared to 270km for the regular Leaf currently on sale Down Under.
A company spokesperson today confirmed the current Leaf, priced at $49,990 before on-road costs, will carry on below the e-Plus.
The longer range comes courtesy of a 62kWh lithium-ion battery pack, up 22kWh on the regular Leaf.
Power from the front-mounted electric motor is up from 110kW to 160kW, and torque is up to 340Nm from 320Nm. The 100km/h sprint time drops to 7.3 seconds, an improvement of 0.6 seconds.
Nissan has sold 250 examples of the Leaf in Australia to date in 2020. When it arrives next year, the e-Plus will go head-to-head with the Hyundai Ioniq Electric (311km, $48,970 before on-roads) and Tesla Model 3 (460km, $73,900 before on-roads).
“Its roughly 40 per cent increased range with the 62kWh battery and higher output overall would appeal to Australians,” Nissan Australia managing director, Stephen Lester, earlier this year said of the e-Plus.
“There’s no change whether it’s petrol, diesel or electric, Australians love performance, and Leaf e-Plus delivers that.”
Along with the pure-electric Leaf line-up, Nissan is planning to have one third of its range electrified in Australia by 2022. That likely includes the X-Trail hybrid, which will go head-to-head with the Toyota RAV4 hybrid, and a range of e-Power vehicles.