An all-electric SUV expected to be made available in the latter half of 2021 has been previewed by Nissan to US-based auto dealers, along with a few scarce but salient details about vehicle specifications.
Nissan has long been a leader in electric mobility, having introduced the Nissan Leaf that has seen considerable success in many countries around the world with over 400,000 sold worldwide.
Despite its first-mover advantage in what is now proving to be a rapidly shifting transition to electric mobility, Nissan has been somewhat behind the eight ball in developing new models, and in partlicular has lagged on matching the increased range of newer models from competitors.
The auto giant has also been in recovery from a troubled 2018 that included the arresting and firing of former Nissan execetive Carlos Ghosn over alleged misrepresentation of salary and misuse of company resources.
The US preview of the new electric SUV model might signal a u-turn for Nissan, however, with the Japanese carmaker finally responding to market demand for EVs with longer range.
At the recent dealer meeting, which was first leaked to Auto News, attendees said that the new 5-seater electric SUV, which is said to be based on Nissan’s IMx concept, will have 480km range and acceleration from 0-100km/hr in under 5 seconds.
The new SUV has also been described as a compact crossover, and will have a “futuristic” look that would fit with what we have seen so far of Nissan’s vision for electric SUVs in the IMx and IMQ crossovers.
However dealers also said that while the template for the new SUV was based on the IMx concept, it would have a shorter bonnet, making it about the size of a “compact Rogue” with interior spacing of a midsize Murano.
With the IMx first unveiled by Nissan at the 2017, its final release in 2021 will mean a full four years in the making for the new electric SUV.
Over the course of that time, Nissan promised performance specifications such as 320kW of power and 700Nm of torque, and a driving range of up to 600km.
Nissan have not revealed any specifications for the production model over official channels, but another dealer said that the new electric SUV will move away from the traditional nobs and dials dashboard of the Leaf electric hatchback to a hidden digital display that comes to life at the press of a button.
It is likely that, as was promised in the IMx concept, the new electric SUV will come with ProPilot 2.0, Nissan’s upgraded semi-autonomous driving tech however, which the carmaker is planning to roll out to electric vehicle models by 2022.
It would also likely include bi-directional charging ability as does the new Leaf, meaning it can offer perks such as storing excess rooftop solar energy during the day, help smooth the energy grid or serving as a backup source of energy for the home in times of blackouts.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.