The Nissan Leaf has been around since 2010 with both generations of the EV pioneer adopting a five-door hatchback bodystyle. The next generation is rumored to morph into a crossover, but a quick search online proved that there is already an adventurous Leaf out there courtesy of ESB, a tuning company based in Osaka, Japan.
The first thing you notice on the Leaf Crossover is the increased ground clearance thanks to a new set of springs that raise the car by 30 mm (1.2 inches) to a respectful 190 mm (7.5 inches), or more if you add beefier tires. The tuner chose a set of 17-inch steel wheels by CLS shod in General Grabber all-terrain tires. While limiting the electric car’s range and efficiency, they will provide greater traction off-road.
For an SUV-like appearance, ESB added matte black plastic cladding on the wheelarches and the front and rear bumper, and blacked out the rear license plate holder. There is also a custom add-on to the front bumper with an integrated skid plate, plus side sill extensions that are probably only serving styling purposes.
For the finishing touch, the tuner added a roof rack for extra luggage or equipment, and a LED light bar for when it gets really dark. Those accessories will also have a toll on the range since they are adding unnecessary drag but this is the price you have to pay for rugged looks.
There are no changes under the skin, with the first-gen Leaf retaining its stock electric powertrain. As a reminder, the model was available with a lithium-ion battery pack with a capacity between 24 kW and 30 kWh depending on the yea. The single electric motor produced 107 hp (80 kW / 109 PS) and 280 Nm of torque offering decent performance for its time.
Surprisingly, the visual modifications are quite affordable. More specifically, the front bumper add-on costs ¥ 32,000 ($281), the flaps on the side sills sell for ¥26,000 ($229), the raised suspension costs ¥32,000 ($281), and the rims cost ¥19,000 ($167) per piece or ¥76,000 ($668) for the whole set. All prices are before taxes and for a complete look, you have to add the cost of the all-terrain tires and the roof rack.