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Nissan chops Leaf roof to celebrate sales milestone
Leaf EV notches 100,000th sale in Japan as Nissan salutes with one-off Open Car
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28 May 2018
NISSAN has celebrated the 100,000th sale of its electric Leaf small car in Japan over the weekend with an unusual roofless spin-off dubbed Open Car that is currently not planned to make it into production.
Similar to Honda’s Civic Type R Pick-up Truck concept revealed last week, the Leaf Open Car puts an unexpected spin on what has become a key model for Nissan as it transition towards its vision of a “zero-emission society”.
While the Leaf is a five-door hatchback, the Leaf Open Car is an open-top three-door that is otherwise physically identical to its regular counterpart, aside from the obvious omissions of its roof and rear doors.
However, the interior design is the starkest departure due to its elevated seating position for second-row occupants that would see their heads comfortably sit above the Leaf Open Car’s would-be roofline.
Given the Japanese brand has released only three images of the Leaf Open Car, the exact impact of the cabin re-jig is hard to determine, but it is safe to say passengers will enjoy a little more wind through their hair than usual.
The Leaf Open Car was displayed for the first time last week at a forum in Tokyo, which saw about 100 people – including government officials and company executives – gather to discuss the creation of a zero-emission society.
The first-generation Leaf entered the Japanese market in 2010, enjoying sales success before the second-generation model arrived in October last year to much local fanfare, punctuated by the more than 9000 orders held after its first month on sale.
As previously reported, the latest Leaf is expected to hit Australian showrooms in late 2018 with a sticker price of about $50,000, making it more expensive than its predecessor, which started from $39,990 driveaway when it was discontinued locally.
Outed in September last year, the fresh Leaf is headlined by its 110kW/320Nm powertrain, 400-kilometre driving range, e-Pedal regenerative braking and ProPilot advanced driver assist systems.
Australian pricing and specification details will be announced closer to the new Leaf’s official local launch.
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