Spy Shots

2018 Nissan Leaf spied with hardly any camouflage

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We're getting close to the full reveal of the Nissan Leaf, since Nissan itself released a teaser for the car. But thanks to one of our spy photographers, we're getting our best look yet at the next-generation electric hatch. This prototype was out testing with nothing more than a vinyl wrap, and it reveals that the new Leaf will be much more conventional-looking.

Up at the front, the biggest change is the addition of a faux grille flanked by horizontally-oriented headlights. This look is a major shift away from the outgoing model, and toward the rest of the Nissan lineup. This new fascia also makes the front of the Leaf look lower and wider than the old version. There's another interesting detail at the front of the car, too, and that's the little bump at the top of the windshield. This may house sensors for Nissan's ProPilot semi-autonomous system that the company announced would be offered on the Leaf.

In profile, the new Leaf is clearly descended from the current model. The side glass and thick D-pillar are clear Leaf cues. With that being said, the D-pillar will look a bit less prominent, since it appears there will be a black-painted panel to provide a floating-roof look. The rear hatch also isn't as raked as the old Leaf, which lends a more conventional hatchback look, and will likely help with cargo capacity.

The back also looks fairly standard as far as hatchbacks are concerned. The biggest change is the switch from the slender, vertical taillights of the current Leaf for Nissan's boomerang-shaped lights. The long sloping rear fenders that made up a big portion of the old Leaf's tail have also been curtailed, giving the car a wider look, and possibly a wider hatch opening.

We expect we'll see the fully revealed Nissan Leaf later this year. It will likely have an electric range of roughly 200 miles to compete with the Chevy Bolt EV and upcoming Tesla Model 3.

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