NISSAN CEO Makoto Uchida and Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta recently unveiled the all-new Ariya to a global audience during a live-streamed event in Yokohama.
It’s a stunning vehicle that’s been hailed as both beautiful and remarkable – and here we take a look at the car in detail.
The Ariya is Nissan’s ultimate expression of style and technology, with each complementing the other in aesthetics and function. The model’s 100 per cent electric vehicle platform removed fundamental limitations and allowed designers to take new approaches to existing components.
The design represents the Ariya’s first Nissan Intelligent Mobility ‘touchpoint,’ underlining a significant redefinition of Nissan’s design philosophy. This is based on what Nissan calls Timeless Japanese Futurism – characterised by a distinctive Japanese approach conveyed in a simple yet powerfully modern way.
Designers embraced this with the key attributes of sleek, sexy and seamless to communicate how an EV paired with advanced driving capabilities can offer a new perspective to design, function and the ownership experience.
Embracing the Japanese term iki, which characterises the Ariya’s chic, cutting-edge nature, the front of the vehicle appears seamless, elegant and fresh. It’s highlighted by a shield – a reimagined grille for the EV era.
The shield, incorporating a 3-D, traditional Japanese kumiko pattern just under the smooth surface, protects sensing equipment used for ProPILOT functions and Intelligent Key detection without the aesthetics interrupting operation.
Nissan’s redesigned brand logo is prominently placed at the centre of the aerodynamic shield, beaming with crisp definition from the 20 LEDs that compose it.
The new logo represents Nissan’s passion and dedication towards innovation by challenging conventional approaches.
The lower section of the shield is bordered by subtle lighting that illuminates, along with the logo, when the Ariya is ready for operation. Thin LED headlamps, constructed with four 20-millimetre mini-projectors, are combined with sequential turn signals to reinvent Nissan’s signature V-motion design.
The rear of the Ariya is equally striking, characterised by a steeply raked C-pillar that blends flawlessly into the rear deck.
The one-piece light blade, representing the rear combination lamps, has been engineered to give a blackout effect when parked, and a consistent red illumination when in use. Rear fender flares and a high-mounted rear wing signal the Ariya’s powerful EV capabilities.
Defined by the Japanese term ma – referring to spatiotemporal openings – the cabin of the Ariya has been designed to be supremely efficient and comfortable. The interior is more akin to a sleek cafe lounge on a starship, evoking performance and intrigue. The advantages provided by the company’s all-new EV platform have enabled the Ariya to offer one of the most spacious cabins in its class.
The compact nature of the powertrain components made it possible for Nissan’s engineers to install the climate control system under the bonnet (where a traditional petrol engine would be), allowing the designers to utilise the whole length of the cabin without obstructions. Also, a flat, open floor – made possible by the location of the battery at the base of the chassis – and the Ariya’s slim profile Zero Gravity seats, result in vast amounts of legroom and easy interaction between front- and rear-seat passengers.
The quiet EV drivetrain and the generous use of sound-absorbing materials result in an exceptionally peaceful cabin, allowing everyone inside to relax.
Front-seat occupants are treated to the Ariya’s minimalist dashboard, which blends seamlessly with the shape of the cabin, transitioning into the doors. It’s devoid of the buttons and switches found in conventional vehicles. Primary climate control functions are integrated into the centre dash in the form of capacitive haptic switches that offer the same feeling as mechanical switches by vibrating when touched. They only appear when the car is turned on, providing a technological yet luxurious touch to the cockpit area.
Tucked under the centre of the instrument panel is a centre storage box and foldout tray. The innovative slide-out table design transforms the cabin space into a mobile office workspace.
Ride comfort and handling without compromise
The twin electric motor, all-wheel-drive Ariya models will feature Nissan’s most advanced all-wheel control technology, e-4ORCE. The ‘e’ in e-4ORCE stands for Nissan’s 100 per cent electric motor drive system.
‘4ORCE’ refers to the vehicle’s physical power and energy, with ‘4’ representing all-wheel control. Born from the company’s rich history of developing memorable all-terrain vehicles and sports cars, e-4ORCE is the spiritual offspring of the Nissan GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS torque split system and the Nissan Patrol’s intelligent 4X4 system.
By specifically managing power output and braking performance for smoothness and stability, e-4ORCE enhances driver confidence by tracing the intended driving line over almost any road surface, while never needing to change driving style or input.
When cornering on snow-covered roads, for example, the vehicle can faithfully trace the driver’s intended line thanks to ultra-high-precision motor and brake control. With the confidence to handle such a variety of road surfaces, driving becomes more enjoyable.
Intelligent Power: formidable EV performance for a wide range of needs
The Nissan Ariya’s all-electric drivetrain is an example of seamless integration of advanced EV technology. It takes the excitement and potential of zero-emission mobility to the next level by integrating excellent power delivery, charging capabilities and extended range.
With five core models offered for the European market, including two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions, the Ariya meets the driving needs of a wide range of customers.
The Ariya 63kWh two-wheel-drive model is ideal for urban and suburban commuters looking for quality and style in their next-generation EV. The Ariya 87kWh two-wheel drive models expands on the 63kWh with an upgraded powertrain and additional range for those looking to venture on longer journeys.
The Ariya e-4ORCE 63kWh all-wheel-drive model offers an attractive balance in performance and value in its segment. With almost no compromise on range, this model offers ample performance and innovative new technologies, including twin electric motors and e-4ORCE control technology that deliver balanced, predictable power to all four wheels.
The Ariya e-4ORCE 87kWh all-wheel-drive will offer a longer range coupled with pure power thanks to the e-4ORCE technology. Topping the range, the Ariya e-4ORCE 87kWh Performance model benefits from a higher power output and will be the epitome of the best performance-technology combination.
Whether the two- or all-wheel-drive model, the power and performance of the Ariya will bring excitement back to the daily commute and urge drivers to explore further. To allow even more exploration, the Ariya will be rated to tow up to 1500kg.
A smooth, powerful on-road presence
Staying true to Nissan’s heritage of producing fun-to-drive, exciting cars, the Ariya’s all-new EV platform has been optimised to deliver exceptional handling. The battery pack sits under the centre of the vehicle to ensure a low centre of gravity and near-equal weight distribution, front and rear. The battery pack’s flat design and integrated cross-member in the battery case, allow the Ariya to have a flat floor and impressive structural rigidity. Suspension components are optimised to take advantage of this, ensuring stable handling and a comfortable ride while also suppressing vibrations and noise from entering the cabin space.
With three drive modes, including Standard, Sport and ECO (e-4ORCE models include an additional Snow mode), drivers have the ability to customise their experience to match their mood and surroundings. The Ariya’s highly rigid body structure and super responsive rack-and-pinion steering system provide the vehicle with crisp turn-in response, while its near 50:50 front/rear weight distribution – made possible by the battery positioned under the floor in the middle of the vehicle – helps the Ariya behave in a predictable manner through all types of corners.
Intelligent Driving: a high-tech, low-stress driving experience
The Ariya ensures high levels of comfort and confidence by providing occupants with the latest Nissan technologies, including an enhanced version of ProPILOT. Equipped as standard on the second generation Nissan LEAF, ProPILOT is a hands-on assistance system that helps drivers stay centred in their lane, navigate stop-and-go highway traffic and maintain a set vehicle speed and distance from the vehicle ahead.
ProPILOT with Navi-link offers an enhanced experience from the acclaimed ProPILOT system first introduced with the LEAF. With the addition of road data and sensing technology, the system is able to offer a smoother ride during single-lane highway driving. By connecting with the navigation system and utilising road map data, the hands-on driver assistance system can help adjust vehicle speed based on the posted limit. Additionally, the system can help adjust vehicle speed based on upcoming road conditions, such as smoothly slowing the vehicle before a sharp corner ahead, giving all occupants a pleasant drive.
When the destination is reached, ProPILOT Park (available in limited markets) takes the stress out of parking by helping recognise an open parking space and guiding the vehicle into it. Parking is completed in three easy steps making front, reverse and parallel parking a stress-free experience.
The Nissan Ariya is also equipped with additional innovative 360-degree safety features such as the signature Nissan Safety Shield, which includes Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking Technology.
Intelligent Integration: keeping the Nissan Ariya up-to-date and at maximum potential
The Ariya embodies Nissan’s philosophy of designing vehicles around the driver, making them both intuitive and exciting. This includes equipping it with the latest in connectivity, including a new human-machine interface and firmware over-the-air updates. Nissan’s intelligent personal assistance technology features a hybrid voice recognition system with advanced natural language understanding technology to handle in-vehicle assistance without the driver taking their eyes off the road.
As an example of how the Ariya promotes a seamless experience and comfort, drivers can check the status of the Ariya’s battery from the comfort of the breakfast table. With a scheduled destination, the Intelligent Route Planner will send a reminder when it’s time to depart, keeping the day on track.
While driving, the system monitors road conditions and suggests alternative routes to keep travel times short. By using the NissanConnect smartphone app, calibration of the Ariya’s climate controls can be set just the way the driver likes, even before entering the vehicle.
When you approach the Nissan Ariya while carrying the Intelligent Key, the doors unlock. The exterior front and rear lights, as well as the Nissan emblem, switch on automatically, signaling that the vehicle detects the driver’s presence. The interior lights softly fade on when the door is opened, allowing the driver and passengers to see the entire cabin.
The seat, steering wheel position and auto-sliding centre console are all adjusted based on the saved driver profile linked with the Intelligent Key. The Ariya’s andon lighting treatment echoes a Japanese artisan character. After all occupants are seated and doors shut, the interior lighting fades away, prompting the driver to push the start switch which produces a ‘pulsing’ effect, inviting the driver to take hold of the steering wheel.
By saying ‘Hello Nissan’ or ‘Hey Nissan,’ occupants can ask for vehicle information and manage the travel route, including searching for points of interest, verbally. In-vehicle functions such as selecting a playlist or adjusting the cabin temperature are effortlessly done without the driver needing to look away from the road. The Nissan Ariya’s in-vehicle commands are executed by a hybrid voice recognition system based on natural-language understanding, allowing for normal, conversational sentences. With embedded connectivity (4G), the system can access cloud data to better understand unique requests.
The Ariya is also the first Nissan model with firmware over-the-air updates, called Remote Software Upgrade. The technology automatically updates various software inside the vehicle – specifically, software that controls the multimedia system, electric and electronic architecture, chassis, climate system and EV settings – without having to take the vehicle to a service centre.
The future of the electric vehicle is now
The Nissan Ariya coupé crossover marks a new era for electric vehicles, promising an incredibly powerful and smooth ride thanks to the full strength of Nissan Intelligent Mobility delivered by the latest assistance technologies designed to support, respond and respect the driver’s intentions.
A design inspired by Timeless Japanese Futurism gives all occupants a welcome, personal impression that aims to surpass expectations.
‘The Ariya enhances driving excitement, ensures high levels of comfort and confidence and heightens the joy of connecting,’ Ashwani Gupta said. ‘It’s more than just a great EV crossover, it’s a great vehicle. It’s a true force of wonder, and it’s coming soon.’