Blurry pictures of the forthcoming 2018 Nissan Leaf surfaced on Twitter, providing a first look at the automaker’s attempt to reassert dominance in the electric car field.
But the images, which were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, didn’t inspire much confidence among fans that Nissan will be able to overcome Tesla. The images were tweeted by a user called Blue Miata who claimed to be employed at a Nissan-related workplace. “I discovered the new Leaf on the inspection line at the Oppama plant,” he said in two tweets directed at Japanese-language car magazines. Leaked photos of upcoming cars are fairly commonplace, but for images to leak from the factories where they are built is highly unusual.
Nissan is betting heavily that the upcoming refreshed model will be enough to take on both the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. All three cars are jockeying to become the first electric vehicle that breaks through on a mass scale. To sweeten the deal, the next-generation Leaf will also feature the Japanese automaker’s most advanced driver assistance system yet. And the Leaf is rumored to have an all-electric range between 200–300 miles.