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Nissan IDS concept arrives in Tokyo to preview next-gen Leaf

Snapshot: A fully electric compact hatchback equipped with a 60 kWh battery.

With the IDS concept, Nissan is trying to tell us work is well underway on the second generation Leaf which is expected to come out sometime in 2017. This preview version obviously takes the shape of a pure electric five-door compact hatchback that has a low roofline of only 1,380 mm while the body panels are manufactured from carbon fiber to keep the weight down as much as possible. That long wheelbase noticeable in the attached images was possible by moving the wheels closer to the body’s corners as a way to free up cabin room.

This is a very advanced concept as it also has an autonomous driving system which doesn’t really come as a surprise taking into account Nissan recently announced they want to launch a driverless car before the end of this decade. Getting back to the IDS concept at hand, it still has a manual driving mode developed for the times when the driver wants to take control of the vehicle.

When in autonomous mode (Piloted Drive), the seats will automatically rotate slightly inward to mimic the layout of a living room while in manual mode (Manual Drive) all of the seats face forward and the head-up display is activated to provide the driver with all the relevant data.

The Nissan IDS concept rides on thin 175 tires as a way to minimize air and roll resistance while underneath the skin is a large 60 kWh newly developed lithium-ion battery which according to its creator has sufficient energy for extended journeys, but they do not say exactly how many kilometers you can travel before running out of battery juice.

Hopefully, many of the concept’s styling cues will be translated into the production version since the current Leaf is not exactly an attractive car and certainly needs a makeover which would boost its appeal.

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