The Chill-Out seems to be a preview of the next-generation Leaf.
In the announcement detailing the Nissan Ambition 2030, the Japanese brand disclosed plans for 23 electrified models coming by the end of the decade. 15 of them will eschew the combustion engine altogether, and at least one of them will feature solid-state batteries by the fiscal year 2028. Aside from presenting its EV agenda, the Yokohama-based automaker also revealed a quartet of four electric concepts.
Starting with the Chill-Out, it’s a swoopy crossover likely smaller in size than the Ariya. By the looks of it, we could be looking at an early preview of the next-generation Leaf, which has already been confirmed to move away from its hatchback body style to a crossover. The concept sits on the CMF-EV platform and is engineered with an e-4orce system – Nissan’s terminology for electric vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive. Expect the production model to arrive in 2025.
As far as the Surf-Out concept is concerned, it takes the shape of an electric single cab pickup truck with a fairly generous bed and chunky wheel arches with black plastic cladding. Nissan says it has been envisioned to offer true off-road performance with a dual-motor AWD setup providing several stages of output.
Per a report published by Automotive News a few months ago, Nissan is actually considering an electric compact truck. It hasn’t been confirmed just yet by the company, but it hasn’t been ruled out either by Judy Wheeler, Nissan’s VP of sales and regional operations in the United States: “There all kinds of things under discussion. I don’t know that there is any serious discussion there at this point. I could see that coming. The pickup area is kind of interesting. There will be a consumer that’s looking more for a lifestyle vehicle that they can put all their gear in and go off-roading.”
The Hang-Out concept is a boxy electric hatchback we could easily see evolve into a next-generation Cube to take on the Kia Soul EV. This one too has been conceived with AWD in mind and a low, flat floor layout courtesy of the dedicated electric platform. It also has theater-like seating and an advanced semi-autonomous driving system.
It’s too soon to say whether the Hang-Out will receive a road-going equivalent, but the vehicle’s exterior doesn’t look too far off from what we would expect from a production car. Those extremely short overhangs are obvious signs of a dedicated EV platform, but if Nissan were to build and sell this car, it would add a conventional B-pillar and likely lose the sliding doors.
Perhaps the most interesting of the lot is the Max-Out concept taking the shape of an electric convertible featuring an “ultra-lightweight” construction and only two seats. The AWD-equipped roadster boasts a low center of gravity and promises to deliver “dynamic cornering and steering response.”
Convertibles in general are a tough sell these days, and it would be even more difficult for an electric one to become a commercial success. Even if there are plans for an electric sports car with a folding roof, it likely doesn’t rank high on the list of priorities. It seems highly improbable the Max-Out is on that list of 15 EVs coming by the end of the decade, but we’re hoping Nissan will prove us wrong.