Spring production for UK Nissan Leaf

* Leaf will be built outside Japan for the first time * Improved range and more cabin space * Charging time has been halved...

Spring production for UK Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf will be built outside of Japan for the first time when production starts at the car maker's Sunderland factory this spring.

Changes to the new model have extended the electric car's range, while adjustments have been made to make the driving experience more suited to European tastes.

The new Leaf will have a range of 124 miles an increase of 15 miles compared with the previous car's. Range-extending measures include a new transmission setting to increase regenerative braking and an 'eco' button that limits rapid acceleration.

It will also be quicker to recharge the batteries, with charging time cut from eight hours to just four.

The new Leaf uses an updated powertrain that has resulted in more boot space being made available an increase of 40 litres to 370 litres with the seats in place.

The touch-screen controller from the previous car remains, but the underlying computer system has been updated. The remote heating and cooling controls have also been improved, along with the car's smartphone connectivity.

Three trims will be available: Visia, Acenta and Tekna. Prices for the updated Nissan Leaf haven't been confirmed, but the entry point is expected to be lower than the 25,000 starting price of the current car after the 5000 Government grant.

By Matthew Burrow

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