2018 Nissan Leaf caught without camouflage in ad shoot

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Its maker has begun the countdown to the early-September unveiling of the 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car with a series of staged teaser photos and factoids.

But with the prevalence of smartphone cameras, it's harder and harder for carmakers to keep their new models completely under wraps.

Which is how we come to have a shot of the 2018 Leaf, undisguised, that was grabbed during an advertising shoot.

DON'T MISS: 2018 Nissan Leaf to have e-Pedal: here's what that means

That image and three others were published yesterday by Broom, a Norwegian site; they show a white Leaf being filmed by a boom camera mounted on a black Mercedes-Benz SUV.

Several things are immediately evident from the images.

First, Nissan has indeed altered the styling of the seminal electric car to make it more "normal" looking.

Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting in 2017

Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting in 2017

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The vertical taillights wrapping up the rear edges of the car along the tailgate are gone, replaced with chevron-shaped rear lights similar to those seen on other recent Nissan designs.

The new Leaf, in fact, appears to use most of the latest Nissan design language, including the "floating roof" with a blacked-out rear pillar and contrasting color for the roof panel itself.

READ THIS: 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car: first teaser photo (headlights!) emerges

It also appears that the shape of the rear-door window frame remains the same as the first-generation Leaf, raising the question of whether this is a completely new vehicle on new underpinnings or a heavy revision of the earlier model.

Nissan has acknowledged that the styling of the first-generation Leaf was deeply polarizing, and it would appear that the new car sports lines that echo those of the Nissan Micra minicar launched within the last year.

Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting on September 6, 2017

Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting on September 6, 2017

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Outline of 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car, taken from Nissan teaser video on e-Pedal, July 2017

Outline of 2018 Nissan Leaf electric car, taken from Nissan teaser video on e-Pedal, July 2017

Enlarge Photo
Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting on September 6, 2017

Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting on September 6, 2017

Enlarge Photo

While the current Leaf remains, for the moment, the highest-volume electric car in history, global sales of the seven-year-old model have ebbed.

The Renault Nissan Alliance, with last year's addition of Mitsubishi, became the largest carmaker in the world during the first six months of 2018. It has sold 480,000 plug-in electric cars, both battery-electric models and plug-in hybrids.

CHECK OUT: Latest 2018 Nissan Leaf teaser shows ProPilot Assist self-driving capability

The 2018 Nissan Leaf is expected to offer at least two different battery options, one of which should deliver an EPA range rating of 200 miles or more to compete with the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Its formal global unveiling will take place in Japan on Wednesday, September 6, which in North American time zones will be late in the day on Tuesday, September 5.

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