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The next-generation Nissan Leaf has been spied this week, giving us a better look at what to expect from the Japanese company’s upcoming overhaul for its electric hatchback.

Despite being shrouded in heavy black-and-white camouflage, we can see the overall shape for the new Leaf, which in most ways looks like an enlarged version of the latest Micra micro car – which isn’t sold in Australia, yet.

Up front the slim, angular headlights flank what appears to be an interpretation of Nissan’s ‘V Motion’ front grilled design, though being an electric vehicle (EV) there won’t be a need for an actual grille, hence why it is completely covered. The headlight internals look consistent with the single teaser image released last month.

The prototype also bears a strong resemblance to the 2015 Nissan IDS concept, though it will sport a more sedate aesthetic compared to the boldly-styled show car.

Headlining the generational update, however, will be an upgraded battery pack to make the Leaf more competitive against modern electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt and upcoming Tesla Model 3.

It’s understood the new power system will be capable of between 300 and 400 kilometres on a single charge, which is a vast improvement over the current vehicle’s 135km-172km claims for the 24kWh and 30kWh battery packs respectively.

Other highlights include the fitment of Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous driving systems, which should allow the Leaf to steer, brake and accelerate on its own within a single highway lane – technology which has already been introduced in the Qashqai and X-Trail SUVs overseas.

It has been seven years since the first-generation Leaf went into production, so this new model couldn’t come soon enough for the Japanese brand.

While a reveal date is yet to be confirmed, Nissan has announced the new Leaf will be revealed later this year.

Additionally, the company’s local arm has confirmed that the next-generation EV will make it into Australian showrooms, though timing is still to be announced.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more Nissan Leaf updates in the coming months.

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