The Nissan Leaf is already the world's best-selling electric vehicle, so when the production rollout hit six digits, the company decided to celebrate the occasion with a one-of-a-kind version of the car.
In late May, when the assembly line folks realized that they were about to reach the milestone of 100,000 Leafs destined for showrooms, Nissan put out a convertible version, according to Car and Driver. But if you're into purchasing that open-top rendition, forget it. Nissan doesn't intend to produce any more models. Which is probably too bad, likely thought the 100 or so executives in Tokyo on hand to see the official unveiling of the sporty version of the model.
The one-off still has all the zero-emission features that green-minded consumers found attractive when the Leaf first rolled out in 2010, although there's been no shortage of improvements in the model that past eight years. A battery pack of 40-kWh powers the vehicle for a distance of up to 240 km before recharging is required, although the company is apparently working on a 60-kWh version to boost the range to 360 km. Otherwise unchanged is its electric engine boasting 147 horsepower as well as a requisite 238 lb-ft of torque for acceleration.
Aside from boosting battery power, the latest version of the Leaf underwent a refit before its October debut. Additional technology included ProPilot Assist, a feature that cuts down the annoyance of stop-and-go driving on single-lane roads by assisting in acceleration, braking, and steering. Also added was an e-Pedal feature that automatically applies brakes every time the driver eases up on the accelerator. All that is packed into a model with a manufacturer suggested retail price ranging from $35,998 to $41,998.
While the convertible was more symbolic than anything, Nissan is still moving forward on meeting the skyrocketing demand for the Leaf. In Europe, a Leaf is reportedly sold every 12 minutes. In one month alone, Nissan was faced with addressing more than 20,000 orders to fill.
But while the lack of emissions is a big selling feature, there's still the annoyance of having to wait nearly eight hours for the Leaf to charge up if consumers have a special installation feature at home. Otherwise, using a conventional plug and socket takes more than 20 hours to bring the Leaf to full electric capacity.