We drove the new 2018 Nissan Leaf in California earlier this month, finding it to be an effective foil to the Prius Primes and Chevy Bolts of the world. With far more mainstream styling than its predecessor, the Leaf stands a good chance of hooking customers who would have never considered the old model.
Now, we’ve learned the company will bring a Leaf GT concept to the Tokyo Auto Salon in early January, a Japanese event most easily described as a fantastic mashup of CES and SEMA.
During the weekend ahead of the North American International Auto Show in frigid Detroit, the Tokyo Auto Salon showcases and demonstrates the latest tech and products for cars to be tuned-up and dressed-up. That’s the SEMA equivalent. Auto-related video games, motorsport merchandise, and the display of other gonzo automotive tech is the CES parallel. It’s always a great show.
This year, Nissan will be bringing a GT version of its new LEAF. One of fifteen models the company is trucking to the show, the Leaf GT will be shown in a two-tone silver and black paint job with bodywork that’s a bit more aggro than the standard car.
Broadening the appeal of the new Leaf will be important to Nissan, given that it’s the brand’s electric halo car. Paint-n-wallpaper packages are certainly one way to efficiently create different looks on a car to attract a wider range of customers.
Nissan has invested quite heavily into the new Leaf, hoping to shift it from a fringe science experiment to a mainstream alternative for folks looking to electrify their commute. At launch, the updated car will be limited to 150 miles on a single charge, well short of the range offered by the Bolt. However, a 200+ mile variant is promised to appear sometime in 2018.
As for the GT version, it’s a reasonable assumption to make that it will have differently calibrated throttle responses in addition to its snazzier bodywork.
At this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, Nissan will also show off NISMO iterations of the Leaf, GT-R, and a couple of other machines we do not get on this side of the pond. For 2018, the Tokyo Auto Salon takes place at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture.