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Nissan Ariya Electric SUV Concept Is Destined for Production

Joey Capparella
Photo credit: Nissan

From Car and Driver

  • The Nissan Ariya is a concept car that will eventually go into production as an all-electric compact SUV.
  • It has two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear, and a battery pack under the floor.
  • We expect the Ariya to go to market in the U.S. as soon as next year as a 2021 model after making its debut at the Tokyo auto show.

Nissan's second mass-market electric vehicle, following the Leaf, will be a crossover SUV a lot like the concept car you see here. In fact, this Nissan Ariya is a close preview of the production car that could arrive as soon as next year. This concept is a much better indication of the design of the real thing compared to the IMX concept that preceded it at the 2017 Tokyo auto show, with real door handles and mirrors and a realistic-looking interior. And given that Nissan has already filed for a trademark for the name "Ariya" in the U.S., we are betting that nomenclature carries over into reality as well.

The styling of the Ariya concept is said to usher in a new design language for Nissan overall. The lines are smoother and less angular than many of the company's current sharply creased designs, and the somewhat front grille is more cleanly integrated into the overall appearance. The shape is familiar, as the Ariya is a compact crossover with a sharply sloping rear greenhouse; it's a few inches shorter than a Rogue in overall length but is significantly lower and wider and has a more athletic stance.

Photo credit: Nissan

Nissan says the Ariya is based on a new dedicated electric platform with a battery pack mounted in the floor and dual electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear. The company is not sharing any details about battery output or range, but we've heard claims that the production version will offer around 300 miles of range and accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds.

Photo credit: Nissan

Technology-wise, the concept is hardly fanciful in its offerings. While the button-free dashboard looks a bit futuristic, its materials and general construction look like they could carry over to production with minimal changes. Two large display screens dominate the dash, and there is an electronic shifter on the center console and numerous touch-sensitive controls on the center stack. Driver-assist features include Nissan's ProPilot 2.0 system with hands-free driving capability in certain scenarios—this tech recently launched in Japan, so it seems a sure bet to be offered on the eventual production Ariya.

Given that Nissan has already been showing this vehicle to dealerships in anticipation of its launch, we think it could arrive as soon as next year for the U.S. market. Expect it to be priced starting around $40,000, putting it somewhere above the Leaf and other affordable EVs such as the Bolt. Its chief competitor will be the upcoming Volkswagen electric crossover, rumored to be called ID.4, that will be similar in size and scope.

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