What: The electric vehicle that's content looking like a golf cart.
When: Late 2011
Looks Can Be Deceiving: Despite its toylike appearance, the iMiEV is a bona fide car with capability almost on par with that of the Nissan Leaf. Range is said to be roughly 75 miles, with propulsion provided by a 63-hp motor and 16 kWh of lithium-ion batteries. The 110-volt charger requires twelve hours for a full battery fill-up, but a quick charger could restore 80 percent of range in twenty-five minutes.
What: The Outlander's little brother, starting at less than $20,000.
When: Fall 2010
Names Can Be Deceiving: This isn't just an Outlander with a sporty engine and chassis tuning. The new crossover is actually a smaller and very different vehicle from the standard Outlander, and fuel economy is its forte. Power comes from a 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and front-wheel-drive models will be rated at 31 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive will be available, and gearbox choices will include a manual or a CVT.
What: The first mass-market all-electric car.
When: December 2010 (kind of)
Shocking Answers: An electrified future begs two questions: how far and how much? Nissan is the first mainstream maker to answer both. Its Leaf will cover 100 miles on a charge and cost $32,780. But that price doesn't include a $7500 federal subsidy and state incentives. The Leaf goes on sale late this year in small numbers. Widespread consumer sales come in 2011.
What: A small, sporty crossover aimed at young men.
When: Fall 2010
Sonic Youth: The Juke is the widest-track derivation yet of Nissan's global B platform, which already underpins the Versa subcompact and the Cube. It will be powered by a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder making more than 180 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque and will be mated to a manual gearbox or -- what else? -- a CVT. Athleticism is amplified with available torque-vectoring all-wheel drive. The Juke was penned at Nissan's design studio in London and is, its designers claim, a mix of toughness with sports car sleekness. Maybe Nissan should have just built a sports car instead.
What: The story here is Nissan's new, global V platform, which underpins this tiny new Micra that just debuted in other international markets. We won't get the Micra, but we'll get something based on the same architecture. When: 2011, maybe
Build It Cheap: The Micra, and presumably anything else on the V platform, will be built in factories in four low-wage countries: India, Thailand, China, and Mexico.