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Image credit: Richard Lawler / Engadget

Nissan: Leaf EV pre-orders are over 13,000

2018 Leaf is the present, but holographic taillights represent the future.
Richard Lawler / Engadget

Over the last week or so we've seen some wild concepts from Nissan at CES (IMx) and NAIAS (Xmotion), but as usual, its Leaf EV is quietly a story as well. The revamped electric vehicle is weeks away from going on sale, and the company tells Engadget that there are already 13,000 pre-orders. With a newly-extended range capable of 150 miles on a charge, its price starts at less than $30k (before any tax credit) for the base model and buyers can actually expect to receive one in 2018.

Gallery: 2018 Nissan Leaf | 12 Photos

Nissan Leaf (interior)

Of course, there's the conundrum of another model due next year with even more range, but according to Nissan, this balances the range people wanted with a similar price to the original, and is enough to cover standard commuting.

Nissan Xmotion "floating commander"

Meanwhile, the XMotion concept serves as a design exercise that combines the company's Japanese heritage and traditional materials with new technology. In the middle of the crossover SUV there's a wooden console using "traditional Japanese architectural wood joinery techniques " called kanawa tsugi that features a "floating commander" ready to interpret passenger's gestured-orders with its motion sensor.

Nissan Xmotion "holographic" lights

While that may be more realistic at some level of an Inception dream, the brake lights are particularly intriguing, using holographic projection. When German suppliers Hella and Covestro showed off holographic auto lighting technology in 2016, they said that it could reduce lighting installation depth with smaller lamps. We'll see if it reaches production in time to arrive on the next-gen Leaf, or, more likely, a slightly milder crossover than the Xmotion.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from NAIAS 2018.

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