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“Now we are aiming for a bigger number of customers, and they are not looking for as much 'EVness,'” Nakamura explained. “Some people say [of the current car], oh, this is too unique...we are covering a much broader range of people now.”
Nakamura said that to expand the Leaf's appeal to more of a EV-adopting mainstream market, it requires designing a nice-looking car, then adding more 'spice' in the design for the people who want it—rather than starting with specific design traits that call it out as an EV.
This doesn't necessarily mean becoming more conservative, the design chief said. Instead, it will be a very stable, nicely-proportioned car first, with special lamps, gauges, or trim that accent the 'EVness'—but only for those who want it.
“But the base model will stay a base," Nakamura explained. "Because some people are just looking for basic transportation—nothing extra—and some people want to have an EV simply as a unique, innovative car."
“It's going to be very nice looking—we're already starting on the redesign,” he added.