Respecting its promise since last year, Nissan has unveiled its first fully electric Kay car. The Nissan Sakura EV is a production version of the IMk concept from 2019, which aims to make electric mobility more affordable to Japanese customers.
The model is named after the Japanese cherry blossom and looks a lot like a concept car. Styling hints like black V-motion grille, LED headlights and alloy wheel pattern make it look like a mini version of the Nissan Aria. The design is an evolution of the theme introduced by Dayz ICE-powered KEi cars with cleaner surfing and more modern details. Sakura is available in a wide range of fifteen colors for the exterior that can be combined with three interior colors (black, beige and blue gray).
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Presumably, the footprints are small enough to comply with the rules of the car. The Sakura is 3,395 mm (133.7 in) long, 1,475 mm (58.1 in) wide and 1,655 mm (65.2 in) long, with 2,495 mm (98.2 in) wheelbase. These figures make the Fiat 500 and Honda E Urban EVs comparatively larger. Turning radius is only 4.8 meters (189 inches), allowing it to be easily navigated on narrow Japanese roads.
The weight is rather high for the Kay car standard, which is between 1,070 kg (2,359 lb) and 1,080 kg (2,381 lb) depending on the equipment. This is about 240 kg (529 lb) more than the ICE-powered Dayz, which shows the extra weight of electrification.
The smallest member of Nissan’s EV lineup is fitted with a single electric motor that produces 63 hp (47 kW / 64 PS) and a respectable 195 Nm (144 lb-ft) of torque. There are three driving modes, Echo, Standard and Sport, where the maximum speed is limited to 130 km / h (81 mph). There are also e-pedal steps for one-pedal driving that offer smooth regenerative churning.
The floor-mounted battery is quite small with a capacity of 20 kWh, which is enough for 180 km (112 miles) of WLTC range. It can also act as a mobile power source during emergencies and supply power to a home for a full day in the event of a power outage. It takes 8 hours to fully charge the battery, but you can charge it to 80 percent in about 40 minutes if you plug in a fast charger.
Nissan claims that the Sakura EV comes with superior ride comfort, a quieter cabin and improved stability due to the lower center of gravity. Equipment for urban vehicles is quite generous with ADAS including Propilot Park (automatic parking), a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation, and automatic climate control. Despite the small boot with 107 liters (3.8 cubic feet) of cargo space, the four-seater cabin looks spacious and comes with practical features like a dashboard tray and cup holder.
Nissan Sakura EV will be available in Japan this summer. Prices range from ¥ 2,333,100 ($ 18,221) to ¥ 2,940,300 ($ 22,964) but if you include the Clean Energy car subsidy available in Japan, you can buy a Sakura EV for as low as ¥ 1,780,000 ($ 13,9122). In addition, Japanese customers will be able to purchase Sakura EVs online by contacting a sales representative via video chat.
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