Friday, February 22, 2013

Nissan Unveils 2013 Leaf with New Electric Motor, Cheaper S Grade and Weight Savings of 80kg/176lbs

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Some two years after its market launch, Nissan has presented an updated version of its Leaf EV that features a number of enhancements, the most important of which concern a new, more compact and significantly lighter electric powertrain, and the addition of a more affordable "S" grade.The 2013 Leaf was unveiled in Japan on Tuesday, but Nissan officials recently confirmedthat a similar suite of upgrades will be applied to the North American version, which will stop being imported from Japan and begin production at the brand's Smyrna factory in Tennessee this December, with sales to start in March 2013. The same should apply for the European version.
As mentioned, the highlight of the 2013 model is the revamped electric powertrain featuring new or redesigned components starting with the new electric motor, which will be used in the updated Leaf as well as the Renault-Nissan group's future hybrid electric vehicles (HEV).
According to Nissan, the more environmentally-friendly motor reduces the use of dysprosium (Dy), a rare earth element (REE), by 40 percent compared to conventional EV motors.
The Japanese carmaker says it has now integrated the electric motor, inverter and DC/DC converter, something that resulted in a 30 percent volume reduction and a 10 percent mass reduction.
Furthermore, by combining the powertrain unit, along with the new integrated functions, streamlined battery module and case structure, as well as the use of lighter parts, Nissan's engineers were able to shave 80kg or 176 pounds from the Leaf.
The automaker also relocated a downsized onboard charger from the back of the car to the front, which resulted in the increase of luggage space by more than 10 percent, from 330-liters to 370-liters.
Other changes include reduced power consumption, a more efficient regenerative brake control system, an increased driving range of 228km (142 miles) in Japan's JC08 mode, added features such as the Hill Start Assist, a new BOSE Energy Efficient Series sound system and updated trims and alloy wheel options.
In Japan, Nissan has added the more affordable S grade that joins the ongoing G and X grades, and which is priced from 3,349,500 Yen (equal to US$40,100 or €32,000), or about 10 percent less than the next trim level.
More details on the changes made to the JDM 2013 Leaf can be found in the list after the break.

[From Nissan Press Release]The major changes in specifications and equipment of the new Nissan LEAF are:
  • Sporty and stylish 17-inch aluminum wheels (standard on G)
  • 16-inch aluminum wheels used in the current model are available as a factory-installed option (on X)
  • 16-inch full-wheel covers (standard on S and X)
  • LED headlights with auto-leveling using blue reflection LED lights (standard on G, factory-installed option on S and X)
  • Front fog lights (standard on G, dealer-installed option on S and X)
  • Seven available body colors, including three new colors: Dark Metal Gray, Brilliant White Pearl and White.
  • Chic, elegant black interior
  • Genuine leather seats available on G and X as a factory-installed option (Airy Gray color for previous model is available on G and X)
  • Pop-up and down adjustable rear center seat headrest
  • Increased luggage space from 330L to 370L, realized by moving a downsized onboard charger from the back of the car to the front
  • Remaining battery capacity shown by percentage in the Multifunction Display
  • Foot-operated parking brake.
Basic EV structure
  • High voltage unit, including an electric motor, inverter and DC/DC converter, was integrated, resulting in a 30 percent volume reduction and a 10 percent mass reduction
  • More responsive and exhilarating acceleration feel delivered by a newly designed motor
  • Weight reduced by about 80kg compared to previous model. Achieved by combined powertrain unit, integrated functions, streamlined battery module and case structure, and use of lighter parts
  • B range that generates deceleration without feeling a change in noise and gravity even on a downward slope (standard on G and X)
  • Enhanced driving performance achieved by improved steering response in the medium-speed range and optimized suspension characteristics associated with weight reduction.
Improved power consumption
  • Reduced power consumption with a heat-pump cabin heater, heated seat for all seats, heated steering wheel and heat shield ceiling
  • Changes to the regenerative brake control system enable more efficient power generation when the brakes are operated.
  • Long-life mode (where the battery is charged to 80% to extend the battery life), now available in any charging mode
  • Improved convenience of the charging port, including a locking mechanism for the normal charging connector, LED light for charging at night and electromagnetic opener for the charging port lid.
  • Addition of "Stop-off charging spot guidance" function, "Power-saving route guidance" function and "Battery capacity at a destination forecast" function which can allay potential range anxiety
  • New ways to search for and locate charging spots easily and quickly. Adoption of "Charging spot availability information provision" function, "Quick charger location display" function and "Unavailable charging spot display" function.
Additional enhancements
  • Lighter-weight, highly efficient BOSE® seven-speaker system: Energy Efficient System (factory-installed option on G and X)
  • Around View Monitor shows an image of the vehicle's surroundings that is not easily visible (factory-installed option on G and X)
  • Highly concentrated Plasma Cluster Ion generator which eliminates odors and kills germs (standard on G)
  • Hill Start Assist which enables a driver to start the LEAF on a slope without worrying about rolling backward




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