Nissan Turns a New Leaf with the Electric Ariya SUV Concept

can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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Nissan is aiming its EV efforts right at the heart of the family-friendly SUV segment with the Ariya Concept, shown for the first time at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.

  • The Nissan Ariya Concept is an all-electric SUV with dual motors and all-wheel drive.
  • Nissan says all-wheel drive know-how from the company’s GT-R sports car has been applied to the Ariya.
  • A production version of the Ariya Concept is likely within 1-2 years time.

Is the Leaf about to fall at Nissan? Having been one of the first automakers to jump into the electric car market, Nissan has been notably reluctant to translate its EV expertise into other directions. The Ariya Concept, shown for the first time at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, blends a dual-motor electric powertrain into a SUV body that looks very close to being production ready.

Nissan isn’t shy about admitting the Ariya signals a new design language for the brand. Considering the Ariya is only a few inches shorter than the current Rogue compact SUV, it’s fair to say the look could translate beyond Nissan’s electric offering and into its gas-powered models, too.

At 181.1 inches in length, the Nissan Ariya is nearly the same length as the popular Rogue compact crossover. (Photo: Nissan)

The Ariya Concept rides on 21-inch alloy wheels and has sharply-focused headlights that blend into the front grille. It’s a bold look, but not so outlandish that many of the details couldn’t make the leap to a production model. In one small but significant break with concept car tradition, the Ariya has normal side mirrors – versus the tiny side-mounted cameras that are en vogue with so many other show cars. In case you were wondering, the color of this Nissan concept is officially titled Suisei Blue.

The cabin of the Ariya is clean and functional, with a large touchscreen dominating the upper dash. (Photo: Nissan)

The interior of the Ariya is focused on a modern and minimalist look. A wide digital display stretches from behind the steering wheel and into the center of the dash. The centrally mounted 12.3-inch touch screen is also accompanied by a series of buttons in the wood trim below it. These disappear from view once the driver turns the vehicle off. Otherwise, like the exterior, the cabin looks almost ready to make the leap into dealership showrooms. The Ariya is also fitted with ProPilot 2.0, the automaker’s latest generation of autonomous drive technology.

The Ariya Concept looks almost certain to arrive in the U.S. in 1-2 years. (Photo: Nissan)

When might the Ariya arive? For now, Nissan is keeping some very important things secret. We know there are two electric motors, but there has been no mention power output or total driving range. For reference, the 2020 Nissan Leaf has a maximum range of 226-miles for every recharge. It’s safe to assume Nissan will want to improve upon this figure for its next-gen of electric vehicle.

Pricing and an on-sale date are two more mysteries. Considering the Ariya looks very much like a production model, we think it’s safe to bet this concept will make the leap to the U.S. by late next year, or early in 2021. Expect the Ariya – or whatever the production model’s name turns out to be – to undercut soon-to-arrive rivals, such as the Tesla Model Y, which will carry an entry price of approximately $39,000 when it arrives in 2020.

WHY THIS MATTERS

Nissan was a pioneer in the EV world and is finally adding some more models to its ranks. An electric SUV could go a long way towards pushing electric vehicles into the mainstream.


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can be reached at nkurczewski@yahoo.com
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