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Nissan has a dual motor AWD electric Leaf, but you can’t buy it

Nissan has unveiled a dual-motor AWD version of its all-electric Leaf, but the automaker is not making it available for sale.

Earlier this week, Nissan revealed a “high-power, twin-motor all-wheel-control test car” based on the LEAF e+.

Unfortunately, it’s not a new version of the Leaf that they are making available.

Instead, the Japanese automaker says that the new powertrain is being tested “for the company’s next generation of EVs.”

Takao Asami, senior vice president for research and advanced engineering at Nissan, commented on the vehicle:

“Soon, Nissan will launch a next-generation EV that will be a true breakthrough. The new electric-drive four-wheel-control technology now being developed integrates Nissan’s electric propulsion and 4WD control technologies with our chassis control technology to achieve a huge leap in acceleration, cornering and braking performance, on par with the latest sports cars.”

Here are a few images of the Leaf dual-motor test vehicle:

It appears to sit a little higher than the regular Leaf and it features fender extensions around the wheel wells.

The powertrain generates 227 kilowatts of maximum output and 680 Nm of maximum torque or more than twice as much as the regular Leaf powertrain.

Nissan notes several advantages of the dual-motor Powertrain:

Powerful, smooth high-output twin-motor drive

Using separate front and rear electric motors, the powertrain generates 227 kilowatts of maximum output and 680 Nm of maximum torque. This output is complemented by the ultra-high-precision motor control provided by Nissan’s advanced EV technology which offers highly responsive, yet uncommonly smooth, acceleration.

Drivers can benefit from the all-wheel-control system on nearly any road condition, heightening driving performance and confidence.

Ride comfort for all

The test car’s precision control of both motors provides unparalleled ride comfort. Vehicle pitch and dive are minimized by adding regenerative rear motor braking to the usual front motor regenerative braking. When slowing down on city streets, for example, this helps keep passengers from being shaken back and forth. This reduces the potential for motion sickness and related discomfort. Similarly, on rough, bumpy roads and when accelerating, motor control is optimized to maintain ride comfort by minimizing irregular movement.

Independent brake control for top-level handling

In addition to optimizing front and rear torque allocation, the system applies independent brake control at each of the four wheels to maximize the cornering force generated by each tire. This lets drivers enjoy cornering that faithfully follows their intentions with minimal steering.

A beacon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility

Despite being a test car with technology hidden inside, the bespoke exterior effectively communicates the advanced Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology within, and creates excitement for the new era of Nissan EV technology. Fitted with overfenders and rally style wheels, this test car confirms it’s ready to take on the most punishing of road conditions.
Inside, the test car sports a 12.3 inch display mounted in the center of the instrument panel that reports, in real-time, information on the vehicle control technology via a polished graphic interface. With the custom display, the driver can better understand vehicle movement, and judge the all-wheel-control technology’s performance at a glance.

Confidence on any road surface

Electric four-wheel-control technology increases driver confidence across a broad range of road conditions. When cornering on snow-covered roads, for example, the vehicle can faithfully trace the driver’s intended line thanks to ultra-high-precision motor and brake control. With the confidence to handle such a variety of road surfaces, driving becomes more enjoyable.

Electric All-Wheel-Control technology Test car specs
Electric motor EM57 × 2 (Front and Rear)
Max power/Max torque 227kW / 680Nm
Length 4,480 mm
Width 1,830 mm
Height 1,540 mm
Wheel base 2,700 mm
Drive Electric All-Wheel-Control(All wheel drive)
Tire Front : 215/55R17, Rear : 235/50R17

Electrek’s Take

I don’t get why this is not an option on the Leaf already just like I don’t get why GM is not doing the same with the Chevy Bolt EV.

It would make so much sense.

You are increasing the market for your electric vehicle by offering an all-wheel-drive option, which is not just more powerful but also has opportunities for efficiency and comfort optimizations, as Nissan notes.

I think it’s a no brainer and other automakers should get inspired by Tesla’s success with offering the option on the Model 3 and other cars before that.

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