Nissan amassed nearly 20,000 orders for its new when the order books opened up in Europe and Japan, which is a pretty solid figure. Now, it appears that lightning has struck twice.
The 2018 Leaf, and deliveries are expected to begin en masse early this year. While it's also built in Japan, US-spec Leafs are built right here in the ol' US of A -- Smyrna, Tennessee, specifically.
This swell of demand means that Nissan is doing something right with the Leaf's redesign. Whereas the last Leaf was a bit too futuristic for my tastes, the new one fits right in alongside the rest of Nissan's recently refreshed rides.
It also builds on the old Leaf's tech in a big way. A new 40-kWh battery sends the Leaf's overall range to about 150 miles -- and if that's not enough, there's an even bigger battery on the way that will let you cruise more than 200 miles between charges. The old Leaf could barely muster 100 miles, which didn't help its prospects against a slew of newer EVs with higher ranges. Performance is improved on the 2018 Leaf, as well, thanks to a more powerful electric motor (147 hp vs. 107).
The 2018 Leaf also brings a hot new driver assist to the table. The Leaf can be optioned with ProPilot Assist, Nissan's semi-autonomous highway system that will hold the vehicle in its lane at speed on the highway without driver input -- but the driver must still keep a close eye on the car and the road. It also makes an appearance on the 2018 Nissan Rogue.