NISSAN has just taken the wraps off a more powerful version of its all-electric Leaf hatch, which will have a longer drive range and a swag of advanced techno stuff.

Called the Leaf e+, it goes on sale in Japan in a couple of weeks and in the US and Europe around mid-year. There’s no word yet on whether Australia will get it.

The new powertrain extends its range to about 450km (the standard one can do some 320km before it needs a re-charge) and comes with technologies such as the ProPilot² semi-autonomous driving system and e-Pedal mode for one-pedal driving.

“The Leaf e+ offers buyers more choice in terms of power and range,” Nissan’s  Daniele Schillaci said.

More than 380,000 Leafs (are they called Leaves in plural?)  have been sold globally since the 100 per cent electric model went on sale in 2010, with Australia accounting for about 700 of them.

The e+ is said to represent a step forward in each of the three key areas of Nissan Intelligent Mobility: Power, Driving and Integration.

The new version of the electric powertrain produces 160kW and 340Nm, which the company modestly says “enables faster acceleration when driving at high speeds.

‘Accelerating from 80km/h to 120km/h is nearly 13 per cent quicker, which allows it  to confidently pass slower-moving vehicles, exit corners faster and more seamlessly and merge easily with fast-moving traffic. The top speed has increased by about 10 per cent for comfortable cruising.”

We think all that whack should take the e+ to 100km/h in about 6.5 seconds, given that the current model has 50 fewer kiloWatts.

The car’s battery has an 8-year/160,000km warranty.

Price of the e+ is given only in yen in its home market, which has no relevance to Australian prices. The standard Leaf here is about $50,000.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.