Nissan has unveiled a new test car based on the Leaf e + that’s designed to try out the company’s newest four-wheel drive software. The whole purpose here is to provide a better, more efficient ride quality for the company’s influx of electric vehicles.
By installing two high-output electric motors at both the front and rear of the car that generate 227kW (304 horsepower), Nissan claims that this test car will be the proving ground for an all-new kind of car control that will be implemented in EVs going forward.
The press release states that the whole purpose here is comfort and performance, but safety plays a role as well. Combined with Nissan’s chassis control, this test car exhibits a greater sense of driver control. The thinking is, if you have better control over the movement of your vehicle, you’ll be one hell of a lot less likely to have those “oops” moments you’d get in a two-wheel-drive EV.
Here’s more from the press release (translated from Japanese and edited for clarity):
By controlling the two electric motors delicately, the vehicle is controlled to prevent it from swinging. For example, when decelerating in urban areas, in addition to the normal front motor regenerative brake, the rear motor regenerative brake is also used to suppress changes in the posture of the vehicle body and reduce occupant swaying in the longitudinal direction. By reducing the back and forth shaking, the effect of suppressing car sickness is expected. In addition, when accelerating or passing on uneven road surfaces, the motor is optimally controlled to reduce changes in body posture and provide a comfortable ride.
There aren’t many details about the development of the technology, nor is there a prospective date by which Nissan is aiming to have this implemented in its vehicles. But it’s a tangible step in the right direction for a company that has been struggling with the fallout from the Carlos Ghosn scandal for the past several months.