Nissan has two generations of its Leaf electric car under its belt, but for its next electric act, focus will shift to the crossover segment.
According to a report from Automotive News on Saturday, US dealers said the company showed them an upcoming compact crossover with an electric powertrain last month. Per the report, the compact electric crossover is set for arrival in the US in 2021 and takes cues from the shown at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. A second concept will supposedly show up at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show that previews the production crossover more closely.
Photos were not permitted at the event, but dealers described the electric crossover as a vehicle comparable in size to the current Rogue, but with interior space closer to the larger Murano. The electric powertrain's packaging opens up far more space for designers and engineers to take advantage of inside the vehicle -- namely a flat floor due to the lack of a transmission tunnel.
Other details dealers shared included a range of 300 miles, room for five passengers and a 0-60 mph time of under 5 seconds. The battery-electric crossover also sits on a new platform, per the dealer sources.
The unnamed vehicle will be Nissan's first new electric vehicle since the Leaf launched 10 years ago. Since then, thearrived to carry the torch, though only after its launch did Nissan add a more competitive model with a . The standard Leaf will only go 151 miles on a full charge. Consumers often name range as a major deciding factor against an EV purchase and numerous other EVs tout ranges well over 230 miles.
What's most intriguing is the cockpit, which dealers said is incredibly futuristic. Not a single physical button is present and the digital dashboard supposedly doesn't show its face until the driver starts the car. Just a pulsating start button is the only thing you'll see before firing up the electric crossover.
On the technology front, dealers also said Nissan will include the second generation of its. The system promises levels of autonomy (Level 2 on the SAE autonomy scale). In layman's terms, the electric crossover should be able to drive itself from on-ramp to off-ramp on US interstates without the need for a driver to place their hands on the steering wheel.
Nissan declined to comment on the report. The Tokyo Motor Show kicks off at the end of October, so we'll have to see if the automaker will be prepared to share more at that point.