2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery
Let's repeat the Leaf purchasing process, as outlined by Nissan, one more time. The four simple steps to secure your place as one of the thousands who will own Nissan's zero-emissions vehicle next year are as follows: reserve, home assessment, charger installation and ordering. The process, as we've reported before, has chugged along with nary a hitch - or has it?
The price wars for the Nissan Leaf are well underway, with one dealer committing to $500 off of the Leaf's MSRP, and another jumping in on the action by offering a $1,000 discount. Of course, this was all followed by yet another dealer claiming to beat both of those deals. Now, North Bay Nissan is ready to trump all of the existing offers out there by offering an astounding five percent off of the Leaf's MSRP.
Ever since the debacle with the General Motors EV1s being taken back from lease customers and crushed, electric vehicle fans have been saying that they want to straight-up buy their vehicles. The point was to ensure that carmakers can't repossess the cars again. However, when it comes to prospective customers for the new Nissan Leaf, it seems the vast majority are opting for leases over outright purchase.
With the introduction of the new Nissan Micra/March minicar comes an all-new engine for the brand. The HR12DE is the first of many similar engines from various automakers expected to debut in the next several years. This is a 1.2-liter inline-three with direct injection and a supercharger.
While Nissan refines its pickup truck plans and gets ready for an all new Titan in 2014, it is doing only a little bit of tweaking to the 2011 Titan and Frontier. The Titan swaps three of its four trim level names, with XE becoming S, SE becoming SV and LE becoming SL, and any four-wheel drive model will get a "4x4" badge. More substantively, captain's chairs will be fitted as standard on the top-level SL trim. The 317-horsepower, 5.6 liter V8 remains unchanged.
At last week's Automotive News Green Car Conference, Brian Carolin, senior vice president for sales and marketing at Nissan acknowledged that extended range electric vehicles (EVs) could eventually join the pure battery electric Leaf in the marque's stable. However, Carolin emphasized that Nissan wanted to maximize the environmental benefit of its initial entries by going with pure battery electric and no direct emissions.
If you aren't already on the list to purchase a 2011 Nissan Leaf, you're officially out of luck. During a speech to the Detroit Economic Club today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that the U.S. market allotment for the first year's production of Leafs is already sold out more than six months before the EV even goes on sale. Nissan has now received 13,000 orders for the $32,780 electric car – quite impressive for a vehicle almost no one's driven.