Nearly a decade after the Leaf was first introduced, Nissan has introduced their second EV offering in the form of an electric crossover SUV, the all-new Nissan Ariya. 

The all-new Nissan Ariya was first unveiled via virtual event on 15 July 2020 at the soon-to-open Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama.  The Ariya is heavily based on the concept first shown at the Tokyo motor show and is the first production model to represent Nissan’s new electrified brand identity.

The Ariya adorns the company’s latest redesigned logo, with Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida stating that it is the cornerstone car to mark the debut of their newest brand logo.  

Uchida said that the Ariya marks a “new chapter, new face and new language” for the brand, serving Nissan’s vision of mobility and company goal of having 1 million EVs produced every year in the near future.   

Built on an all-new Alliance-developed platform (Alliance being Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi), the model’s 100% electric vehicle platform has removed conventional design limitations and allowed designers to take new approaches to exterior and interior design.

Dimensions wise, the Ariya is 4,595 mm in length, 1,850 mm in width and 1,655mm in height, placed roughly between Qashqai and the X-trail in size.  

The exterior has a clean and elegant design which Nissan calls “Timeless Japanese Futurism”.  The profile of the vehicle appears long, with uninterrupted panels and a low, sleek roofline.  The front end of the vehicle is shorter, with the windshield pushed forward to lower drag.  A single, uninterrupted horizon line stretches across the side profile, linking the front fascia and the rear.  The design reflects a calm visual energy.    

Nissan’s redesigned brand logo is placed at the centre of the large textured shield (not the grille), backlit by 20 LED lights.  The shield incorporates a traditional Japanese kumiko pattern, under which is all the home for all the sensors for the ProPilot 2.0 assisted-driving tech.

The inside of the Ariya offers the most spacious cabin in its class, offering D-segment space from a C-segment size vehicle. Nissan claims that the interior is designed to be “more akin to a sleek cafe lounge on a starship” compared with a conventional car interior.

The Ariya features a minimalist dashboard, devoid of buttons and switches found in conventional vehicles. Climate control functions are integrated into the wooden centre dash in the form of capacitive haptic switches and touch sensitive icons that according to Nissan “offer the same feeling as mechanical switches by vibrating when touched”.

The front infotainment and drivers display consist of two 12.3-inch screens laid out horizontally (similar to Mercedes) plus an HUD offering various display options.

The center console/armrest is motorised and can be moved back and forward at the driver’s preference. The console also features memory settings, whirring back into position for the next drive.

The Ariya is offered with four core specifications, including two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions and two battery sizes, 63kWh and 87kWh. 

The base performance 63kWh 2WD configuration produces 160kW/300Nm, with a claimed 0-100kph time of 7.5 secs and a claimed range of up to 450kms.  The high-performance configuration 87kWh AWD variant produces 290kW/600Nm, with a claimed 0-100kph time of 5.1 secs and has a claimed range of up to 580kms. The longest-range 87kWh 2WD variant has a claimed range of up to 610kms.

The battery system is also water-cooled, allowing much faster charging of up to 130kW. Under these conditions, 375kms of range can be added in 30 minutes.

The twin electric motor, all-wheel-drive Ariya models will feature Nissan’s most advanced all-wheel control technology, e-4ORCE, which according to Nissan is the spiritual offspring of the Nissan GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS torque split system and the Nissan Patrol’s intelligent 4×4 system.

The system refers to the torque-vectoring ability, with the two motors, front and rear, being able to control traction and brakes independently. Nissan claims that Vehicle pitch and dive are minimised by adding regenerative rear-motor braking, allowing for a smooth and consistent ride.

The Ariya is offered with Nissan’s newest iteration of driver assistance tech, ProPILOT 2.0, which offers all the latest safety technology, plus allowing for hands-off single-lane driving along a predefined route and push-button lane changes. 

The Ariya also incorporates Amazon’s Alexa, allowing the driver to play music, place calls, listen to audiobooks, control smart home devices, like open the garage door, from within the vehicle. The Ariya also has the ability to receive firmware updates over the air, via Nissan’s remote software upgrade.

The all-new Nissan Ariya is scheduled to go on sale in Japan in mid-2021, and is planned to go on sale in Europe, North America and China by the end of 2021.  Models have an estimated starting price of 5 million yen, or approx. $72,000 NZD at today’s exchange rate. 

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