You either love its grille-less hood, large eye-like headlights and button nose, or you hate it — but there’s no denying the current generation Nissan LEAF family hatchback has helped start an electric revolution around the world from Tokyo to Tennessee and London to Lisbon.
But as AutoExpress reports, the next-generation LEAF electric car will lose the bulbous headlights and anthropomorphic facia in favour of more conventional car styling that should make it more appealing to mainstream buyers.
And it is illustrating this fact with a set of exclusive images it says accurately show design work currently being finalised for the 2016 LEAF.
The renderings — claimed by AutoExpress to be an exclusive sneak peak of the next-generation plug-in — show a bolder, stronger-looking LEAF with the same V-shaped grille already present on its Micra and Pulsar hatchbacks and Juke crossover SU, along with narrower, sleeker lights similar to the ones found on Nissan’s recently-unveiled 2015 Nissan 370Z sports coupe.
At the rear, narrow wrap-around tail lights replace the long, upright lights of the current generation LEAF, while an upward-sweeping waistline hints at a larger load bay area over the current LEAF. At first glance, the 2016 LEAF looks to wear larger wheels too, perhaps moving to 18-inch alloys rather than the 16 and 17-inch wheels currently offered as standard on the various LEAF models worldwide.
Overall, the 2016 Nissan LEAF rendering shows a more grown-up car with a sportier stance and more practical pedigree over the current LEAF.
At the time of writing, Nissan hasn’t confirmed these images as real, nor will it confirm when we can expect official images and unveiling of the next-gen car. But from what we gather they do show the general direction Nissan is headed with the second generation of its popular plug-in, clearly incorporating design features already found on some of Nissan’s newer vehicles.
In addition to a more conventional-looking design, AutoExpress speculates that Nissan could be readying itself to adopt Tesla Supercharger capabilities for its brand-new plugin, making use of the Tesla-designed Supercharger plug and socket rather than the CHAdeMO DC quick charge technology used in the current LEAF.
This switch would tie in with the need for a faster battery charging capability brought about by a more energy-dense, longer-range battery pack, something that Nissan is now reasonably open about for the next-generation LEAF.
Take a look at the AutoExpress gallery here, and let us know what you think. Is this the new 2016 Nissan LEAF? Will it have an increased range and Tesla Supercharger capability? Or is this just wishful thinking and a speculative rendering?
Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.
You can also support us directly as a monthly supporting member by visiting Patreon.com.