It doesn’t take a genius to figure out EVs are hot. Even if you don’t like them, they’re becoming a huge force in the industry. Nissan recognizes this and has been a leader in EV tech for some time. Now it’s going on a nice electric binge.
We all know that a next-gen Leaf is coming, likely for 2018. It will still be a five-door hatchback. Thanks to a recent AutoExpress interview with Nissan senior vice president Shiro Nakamura, we know that an all-electric crossover and sports car are in the works.
To offer these diverse vehicles, Nissan is going modular. A new scalable architecture will be able to work with different vehicle sizes and types, plus electric or hybrid powertrains. This is a common trend with automakers as a way to save some cash.
Reportedly the big design challenge for the electric sports car is the skateboard-like battery array, which makes the vehicle sit too high. One workaround is to copy the BMW i8 and reformat the battery array to sit in a tunnel that runs between the seats. Another is to slap the battery under the backseat, which could throw off front-to-rear weight distribution.
Would this future sports car be the next Z-car? It’s possible. Considering widespread disappointment with the 370Z and its aging design, that kind of a move could explode interest.
The crossover model could be like the Gripz concept. This blows away theories the next Z-model will be an SUV.