Nissan Launches ‘LEAF’ Electric Car

Nissan LEAF
Nissan has just unveiled a new zero emissions vehicle that is slated to go on sale in Japan, Europe and the United States next year. Called the LEAF, this C-segment (sub-compact) car is powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs. Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.
Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.
Pricing has yet to be released but Nissan aims to give the LEAF an MSRP competitive with well-equipped C-segment cars. That should put it near the $20,000 mark. The car will also qualify for government rebates and tax incentives desigend to help promote the sale of fuel-efficient cars.
“Our car had to be the world’s first, medium-sized, practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day. And that’s what we’ve created. The styling will identify not only Nissan LEAF but also the owner as a participant in the new era of zero-emission mobility,” said the LEAF product boss Masato Inoue.
The first LEAFs will be built at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan with plans to also start production soon at the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant. The LEAF is the first of three electric vehicles that Nissan plans to launch in the next few years.
 ”The Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment – one in with all Nissan employees can take great pride,” said Nissan President Carlos Ghosn. “We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality – the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero – not simply reduced – emissions. It’s the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey – for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry.”
 

BMW’s Green Four-Door Coupe

BMW’s plans for the Frankfurt Auto Show are coming into clearer focus this week as prior reports of a green-themed Coupe have been shucked aside by the company’s PR folks.
While BMW plans a 50th-anniversary celebration for the MINI brand, a worldwide reveal of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, and a new generation of the venerable BMW 5-Series sedan, it’s also planning a stunning four-door coupe concept that could go green–in the form of a small three-cylinder turbocharged engine, according to a speculative piece today in AutoExpress.
The angular coupe, they report, is dubbed the EfficientDynamics Vision. A sleek drawing predicts what could show up on the BMW stand in Frankfurt, but there’s nothing to prepare showgoers for the unexpected drivetrain underneath the hood.
The new concept will sport a three-cylinder turbocharged engine, as the story goes. It’ll also have hybrid power to propel it.
If it pans out, the new concept and its drivetrain would likely share its lithium-ion battery pack with the new BMW 7-Series Hybrid also due at the Frankfurt show. It would also provide the German automaker with a cohesive green theme–particularly if those other reports about an “i-Setta” electric city car prove true.
TheCarConnection and Motor Authority will be in Frankfurt to show you more from the show floor; you can bookmark our Frankfurt Auto Show tag and come back here often for previews and updates prior to show week.

Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept car

Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept car
Mazda added lightness to this speedster-style Miata that will appear at Frankfurt.
To celebrate 20 years of selling the world’s most popular roadster, Mazda has built a special version of the Miata to display at this year’s Frankfurt auto show.
Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept car 2
The idea is to emphasize the lightweight nature of the MX-5, and to that end the Superlight wears neither roof nor windshield. Instead it’s a sexy speedster-style iteration of the iconic roadster with smooth body lines and roll bars integrated behind the headrests. The bare interior is home to racing bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel . . . and not much else.