- this nissan leaf test mule shows off a new powertrain setup with dual electric motors.
- one motor in the front and one in the rear make for all-wheel drive, 304 horsepower, and 502 lb-ft of torque in total.
- while it's just a test mule at this point, we expect to see a version of this dual-motor setup on the upcoming nissan ariya electric crossover.
nissan has made the leaf electric hatchback a lot more exciting by installing a new dual-motor electric drivetrain into this test prototype. with one electric motor in the front and one in the rear, this leaf has 304 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque, making it far more powerful than the single-motor model currently on sale. it also has all-wheel drive and promises better handling thanks to a brake-based torque vectoring system.
the obvious advantage of the addition of the rear motor is increased traction in slippery conditions and extra power. but there are other benefits too: nissan also claims that having regenerative braking in both the front and the rear reduces brake dive when slowing down, making stop-and-go driving smoother.
we suspect that the upcoming nissan ariya electric crossover, previewed by a concept model at the tokyo auto show (pictured below), will be the first production application of this dual-motor powertrain. earlier reports suggested that nissan touted to dealers that this upcoming compact suv would offer zero to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds, and all-wheel drive seems a sure bet given its crossover packaging.
c/d was scheduled to get a test drive in this leaf prototype as part of nissan's events surrounding the tokyo auto show, but it was called off because of adverse weather. nissan said it is trying to get us behind the wheel at some point in the near future, and we're looking forward to it.