Is This What the 2016 Nissan LEAF Electric Car Will Look Like?

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.

Is this the next-generation Nissan LEAF? Auto Express thinks so (Image © Auto Express, used with permission)

Is this the next-generation Nissan LEAF? Auto Express thinks so (Image © Auto Express, used with permission)

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.

The current-generation Nissan LEAF is far more pedestrian than the AutoExpress 2016 Nissan LEAF renderings.

The current-generation Nissan LEAF is far more pedestrian than the AutoExpress 2016 Nissan LEAF renderings.

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.

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  • WeaponZero

    An improvement, but still ugly : /

  • Kalle Centergren

    i like it 🙂

  • David Peilow

    If it looks like this, has the rumoured 150 miles range and can use superchargers then they are on to a winner, but Auto Express is prone to fantasy renderings and I don’t believe for a minute they will dump CHAdeMO.

  • Surya

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they did away with the lights, but I would be surprised if they introduce a grille.

  • offib

    There’s no denying that it’s attractive and aggressive, but I’m not feeling it. It’s seen before, a Pulsar but with high-end LEAF rims, blue paint and a Qashqai nose and lamps.nnnI might find the Skoda Octavia just as exciting. I just see the current LEAF as more interesting, of course it has a lot room for improvement, but this one here is just – lazy, dary I say, mainly because this is just the Pulsar at first glance. Too ordinary.nnnBut of course, this is just a fake photoshop!

  • James H

    I like the new design. I hope the new battery will be available for replacement in the existing LEAF models. I would gladly pay to have a bigger battery in my LEAF when the existing battery pack weakens enough to need replacing.

  • Esl1999 .

    Since AutoExpress is speculating here, then I’ll do the same. nThere will be an optional 34 kwh battery and frikkin laser beams for headlights.

  • John Tamplin

    Superchargers aren’t useful to other cars unless they have big batteries – CHAdeMO is already charging at a higher C-rate than a Model S does on a 120kW Supercharger.

    • Agree. The speed of charging (C-rate) should be under 2-3x the battery capacity. eg: A 24 kWh battery can handle max. 50 kW power, or 60 kWh battery can handle 120 kW of power.nnNote: Superchargers are also spaced up to ~150 miles apart requiring 50 kWh to drive from one to the next at highway speeds. Some SC are only 100-120 miles apart, but for travel at full speed, enough kWh for the largest gaps is needed.

      • Foro EV

        And Tesla has liquid refrigeration.

  • The edgy Nissan design language is copied from the “Sport Sedan”, “Friend-Me”, “Lannia”, and “Resonance” concepts. http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/pages/us-nissan-concept-carsn nThese AutoExpress pics are photoshop fakes as they contain a number of errors. Many design lines don’t line up (eg: front hood/grille lines and open mesh, rear door/window frame, rear hatch/lights, are just a few). The front lines based on Sport Sedan look good, but rear lines from Friend-Me and Lannia are more appropriate for a sport-hatchback.nnPerhaps the updated Nissan PEV drivetrain (LEAF) will feature multiple models: hatchback (mini-SUV), and sedan, with many shared components (interior & exterior)? It would be nice to see at least two options for battery capacity (24, 36, 48 kWh) and two motor sizes (80, 100 kW) to add choices that match owner needs.

    • Video showing off the Nissan Lannia Concept: u25banhttp://youtu.be/mX0ze9UjzFE

  • siblingsoulshine

    Erm … where’s the charging port?

    • That’s what I was thinking. is it still under the front in that V-shaped area? Is it somewhere else? The gallery doesn’t show any other obvious places for it to be.

  • Greener

    Its the dumbing down of current LEAF design to make it easily acceptable for the average (dumb) people. The fake grill confirms it. They want to offer what people are used to. Might as well add a fake tail pipe in the back to make people feel at home.

  • CMCNestT .

    BEVs don’t need nor should they have non-functional grills. It looks retarded.nnnAnd charging ports should be in front not copy ICE and put the charging port on the side where gasoline fuel filler flaps are located.

    • Martin

      I don’t like charging points at the front of cars they are a trip hazard and ought not to be allowed on safety grounds

      • CMCNestT .

        You can trip over cables no matter where the charging port is placed as evidenced by the epidemic of LEAF owners, family and friends visiting emergency rooms across the world.

  • Daviduf8ff

    Ditching the CHAdeMO charger will bring about some consternation as there are quite a few of these points now installed. Infrastructure is always going to be the issue until it’s properly joined up.

  • vdiv

    Here’s the latest rendering I just received: 😉