Nissan New Leaf in Tokyo Auto Show 2009: Autos Claims and Nissan Automotive Vehicle Review

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Nissan New Leaf in Tokyo Auto Show 2009

2011 Nissan Leaf

Several carmakers at a rather sparse Tokyo Motor Show are alluding to an automotive future that will entail increasing numbers of pure-electric cars, led by the Nissan Leaf.

The Leaf’s mechanical particulars are detailed in a separate report. But what will it be like to drive? We haven’t had enough seat time for a definitive report, but we did get a couple laps at the Nissan Proving Grounds outside of Tokyo, and a few impressions emerged.

Number one: quiet. Electric motors aren’t entirely silent, but when they’re nestled inside sheetmetal and insulated from the cabin, not much of that sound gets through to the passenger compartment. But you’d expect that.

Number two: other noise. In the absence of engine sounds - something at least some drivers will miss, however much they endorse the idea of zero-emissions propulsion - there’s a bit of mechanical noise. A little whirring and subdued whine from the drivetrain, plus modest tire noise.

Number three: acceleration. The Leaf is intended as a short-range urban-suburban commuter car, and nosebleed 0-to-60 won’t be part of the deal. On the other hand, its green-light getaway is a pleasant surprise. Electric motors make max torque from one rpm on up the scale, and acceleration is smoothly linear.

The bottom line: Nissan talks about excitement in connection with its new electromobile, and that will be a hard thing for internal combustion junkies to perceive. However, as Nissan also observes, aside from its propulsion system, the Leaf is a car like any other - one that will hold its own in traffic, providing an exceptionally serene experience in the process.

That can’t be all bad.

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Nissan New Leaf in Tokyo Auto Show 2009
Nissan New Leaf in Tokyo Auto Show 2009

Category Nissan Automotive Vehicle Review


Nissan Automotive Vehicle Review-72
Nissan Automotive Vehicle Review

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