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Next Nissan Leaf to spawn crossover?

The high-riding Leaf would have a driving range of approximately 250 miles.

British media outlets are reporting that the second-generation Nissan Leaf could spawn a crossover shortly after its introduction.

Adding a second Leaf body style will allow Nissan to benefit from economies of scale, and executives see a compact crossover as the most logical option because soft-roaders are in growing demand all around the world. A Leaf on stilts would also draw a new range of buyers into Nissan showrooms.

The Leaf and its crossover counterpart will share the same drivetrain, though the crossover might come with a more potent battery pack in order to offset the additional weight.

What we know so far

The second-gen Leaf will again be a five-door hatchback, Nissan is not planning on turning it into a four-door sedan. Details are being kept closely under wraps, but sources close to the Japanese car maker have revealed the next Leaf will benefit from a brand new drivetrain that will deliver a maximum driving range of up to 250 miles thanks to recent advances in battery technology.

Surprisingly, Nissan has all but confirmed that the second-gen Leaf will feature a more conventional look that will fall in line with the company's latest design language thanks to styling cues like a V-shaped grille and a floating roof. Mamoru Aoki, Nissan's global design chief, credits Tesla for proving that electric vehicles no longer need to look off-beat.

If the report is accurate, additional details about the high-riding Leaf will emerge over the coming months. The second-gen Leaf is scheduled to debut in 2017 at the latest, so the crossover could be presented at a major auto show the following year.

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