Nissan IDS concept, 2015 Tokyo Motor Show
The 2018 Nissan Leaf may be the brand's next electric vehicle to soak up attention, but several reports have indicated that Nissan plans to flesh out its lineup with an electric crossover.
That all-electric SUV will likely be previewed with a Vmotion 3.0 concept, which will follow the Vmotion 2.0 sedan concept shown at this year's Detroit auto show.
Vmotion is meant to capture three core pillars of technology at Nissan, it says: electrification, autonomous driving, and connectivity.
The Vmotion 3.0 concept will, obviously, weigh heavily on that first pillar—and may boast a 200-mile range.
"We are now working on 3.0 for the future direction," Nissan's executive design director, Mamoru Aoki, said to Automotive News (subscription required).
The new concept is said to take advantage of new styling opportunities merited by electric motors and batteries and will be the blueprint for Nissan's future electric offerings.
Nissan Vmotion 2.0 concept, 2017 Detroit auto show
"Why not try something new?" Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan global design chief, said. "In the future, we're not going to have just one EV. So we're starting to map out what is the DNA that can go across different genres."
Flat flooring, new aerodynamic shapes, and narrower, low-resistance tires are said to be potential experiments with Vmotion 3.0, according to Albaisa.
Nissan went on to call the crossover segment part of its DNA—the Japanese automaker has also adjusted its sales forecast to include 60 percent of its sales volume from the hot crossover and SUV segment in the U.S.
"We are clearly focusing our attention on a crossover EV, because it's our DNA," he said. "The crossover will really embody the latest Nissan Intelligent Mobility features."
Part of its DNA? More like part of a healthy profit margin.
The electric crossover will follow the 2018 Leaf, which will debut this fall.
Teaser for 2018 Nissan Leaf debuting in 2017
The new Leaf will exhibit more pedestrian styling in an effort to move it away from a "science experiment" look—the current Leaf is decidedly bug-eyed.
Nissan won't be the only automaker to pursue electric crossovers, though.
Kia and Hyundai will likely introduce fully electric variants of their Stonic and Kona compact crossovers, respectively, in the near future as well.
At present, Chevrolet also markets the 2017 Bolt EV as a crossover, despite the fact that it doesn't offer all-wheel drive.
No matter the configuration, the Bolt EV has set the bar for affordable electric cars with a 238-mile range.
Nissan and others will have their work cut out for them.