Nissan has successfully developed its third electric vehicle for Japan: the city-focused Sakura minivan, designed to fit into the country’s K-class.
The 2022 Nissan Sakura It was unveiled on the Japanese market, as the brand’s smallest electric car to date.
Developed alongside a similar model from Mitsubishi, Nissan’s new Sakura is designed to join the Japanese “Ki” class of cars, which offer tax and insurance benefits for vehicles that comply with strict restrictions on size and power output.
Measuring 3,395 mm in length, 1,475 mm in width and 1,655 mm in height, with a 2,495 mm wheelbase, the Sakura is named after Japan’s indigenous cherry blossom trees – 200 mm shorter in overall length and 120 mm narrower than the Kia Picanto in the Australian market, but longer By 170 mm to increase the internal space.
Within its compact space, it’s able to fit five doors and moderate front overhang – so it won’t fit in the same parking spaces as the 2,500mm two-seater smart car of the early 2000s.
The heavy-duty design was inspired by the larger Nissan Ariya mid-size electric SUV, with smashed versions of the enclosed front end, headlights, taillights and paint colors.
The four-spoke wheels are said to be inspired by the “Japanese mizuhiki knot…commonly found in envelopes and gift packages.”
Inside, the Sakura continues its older brother’s tradition with a similar dashboard and console design, home to a 7.0-inch digital display and 9.0-inch touchscreen, with satellite navigation, wireless/wired Apple CarPlay and an automated wired Android system.
The fabric-covered seats “feature a comfortable sofa design” and are joined by a leather steering wheel and brass rims as part of a three-color combination: black, beige and “blue gray”.
Other interior features include cup holders designed to “protect” [drink] oscillating”, electronic speed limiter, and two-spoke steering wheel borrowed from Ariya.
Sakura’s running is a single electric motor (most likely on the front axle) that develops 47 kW And 195 Nm – Previous Maximum kei cars since 1990 – Connected to a 20 kWh Good battery for a maximum speed of 130 km / h.
The range is set to 180 km – albeit according to the ultra-easy Japanese WLTC test. The electric Leaf’s hatch is 322 km over the same protocols, while the base Tesla Model 3 quotes 565 km – compared to 270 km and 491 km respectively according to the strictest European WLTP test.
The car is able to “quick charge” in 40 minutes (from the battery warning light to 80 percent charge), while the “standard charge” takes eight hours.
Economy, Standard and Sport driving modes are available, along with a single pedal mode, and car-to-home charging (allowing the car to provide “everyday power to the home” in an emergency”).
The turning radius is 4.8 meters (9.6 meters circle) – 10 cm larger than the Kia Picanto, but 60 cm smaller than the Nissan Leaf.
Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous drive system is available in the Sakura, along with the ProPilot Park system that controls steering, acceleration, braking, gear selection, and the parking brake for fully automatic parking.
The 2022 Nissan Sakura It will go on sale in Japan by the end of September, with a starting price of 2.33 million yen before government subsidies for electric vehicles – or just under A$26,000.
An Australian launch is unlikely, given the Sakura’s size, power output, range and driving position are more suited to the streets of Tokyo than those on Toorak or Toowoomba.
The Nissan Sakura will be twinned with the variant sold by Mitsubishi, known as the eK X EV (above), with unique but identical design elements in mechanical and technology.
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