• Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan
After a first generation spent as a pioneer in the hybrid Wild West, the second-generation Toyota Prius settled down and started a family. Why can't the same happen for the next-generation Nissan Leaf? Autocar has a highly speculative report on just such an outcome, but if nothing else it shows that Nissan is open to the idea.

Trevor Mann, an executive vice president at Nissan who doubles as the company's chief performance officer, said "There could be more than one Leaf," and that the brand is "still studying other opportunities." That might mean another kind of body style, but Mann's focus on making sure Nissan on properly converting "the market intelligence that we're gathering" makes it sound like any kind of decision is a long way in the future. Outsiders keep pointing at an electric crossover as the logical step, and the company has already shown the remarkably polished, seven-seater Hi-Cross Concept.

Before any of that can happen, right now Nissan is still busy tweaking the formula for the current Leaf to shake off lower sales this year. Then, there remain plenty of questions swirl about the next-generation Leaf, the first being when will it get here. Sometime in 2017 is the latest rumor based on comments made by ex-product honcho Andy Palmer, but the date is really as much of a mystery as its range - which could be more than 300 miles, the way it will look, and the feature set. If they need an easy idea for some kind of utility vehicle they've already got Sparky, the Leaf pickup truck, in-house (pictured). We'd give that the thumbs up.

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