Nissan Ariya set to be an EV game changer for Japanese car maker

NISSAN has revealed its new Ariya electric crossover to the world, marking a new chapter for its electric vehicles. The new model offers powerful acceleration and smooth, quiet operation, as well as an interior with a welcoming, luxurious lounge-like atmosphere.

Its stress-free autonomous driving features, concierge-like assistance and seamless connectivity heighten on-road confidence too. And with an estimated range of up to 610km, the Ariya will challenge the likes of the BMW iX3.

Built on an all-new Alliance-developed EV platform, the Ariya is the ultimate expression of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the company’s strategy to further improve the appeal of its vehicles and achieve the ultimate goal of a future with zero emissions.

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The Ariya combines advanced electric vehicle technology with a new level of seamless human-machine interface connectivity, offering an entirely new driving experience. Its chic styling is highlighted by a shield, a re-imagined grille for the EV era.

Incorporating a 3D traditional Japanese kumiko pattern just under the smooth surface, the shield protects sensing equipment used for ProPILOT functions and intelligent key detection, without the aesthetics interrupting operation.

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-millimeter mini-projectors, are also combined with sequential turn signals.

When viewed from the side, the Ariya seems to be constantly slicing the air thanks to a low, sleek roofline. Sporty, five-spoke, 19-inch aluminium wheels (20-inch available on some grades) communicate the vehicle’s dynamic stance and sporty nature.

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.

When in use, it delivers a consistent red illumination, day or night. Rear fender flares and a high-mounted rear wing signal the Ariya’s powerful capabilities.

A newly-developed exterior two-tone color package, Akatsuki, provides a combination of copper with a black roof, to  highlight the body’s flowing nature, while the copper tone itself references conductivity and the dawn of a new automotive era.

Along with Akatsuki, the Ariya is offered with nine two-tone combinations, each sporting a black roof, and five striking full-body color combinations.

The cabin of the Ariya has been designed in the most efficient and comfortable way. The interior is more akin to a sleek cafe lounge on a star ship, evoking performance and intrigue, than to a traditional automotive cabin.

The compact nature of the power train components also made it possible for Nissan’s engineers to install the climate control system under the hood (where a traditional gasoline engine would be), allowing for seamless design throughout.

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 drive train and the generous use of sound-absorbing materials result in an exceptionally quiet cabin, allowing everyone inside to relax and enjoy the stress-free, lounge-like space.

The adjustable centre console can be moved to suit the driver’s personal preference, and the settings can be saved as part of the driver’s profile for automatic adjustment during future outings.

The surface hosts a new shifter that fits in the palm of the hand to encourage a relaxed driving position with haptic drive mode controls within easy reach. Rear-seat passengers are treated to an abundance of headroom and legroom too.

Accents and ornamentation are carried into the rear space to give all the same sense of sophistication and comfort. The thin front seats are positioned to obscure the B-pillar, offering occupants an outward panoramic view.

With four core models offered, including two-wheel and all-wheel drive versions, the Ariya meets the driving needs of a wide range of customers. The 2WD variant will offer 63kWh (160kW) of usable battery capacity for an estimated range of 360km.

An 87kWh (178kW) version of the 2WD model will deliver a range closer to 500km. The Ariya e-4ORCE AWD model with 63kWh (205kW) adds improved drive functionality, with a slight drop in estimated range to 340km. Performance editions will also be offered.

The twin electric motor, all-wheel-drive Ariya models will feature Nissan’s most advanced all-wheel control technology, e-4ORCE, Nissan’s 100% electric motor drive system that’s described as the spiritual offspring of the Nissan GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS torque split system.

The range topping models also feature the highest level of Nissan Intelligent Mobility available, including ProPILOT 2.0, which offers hands-off single lane highway driving capability.

Building on the hands-on driver assistance technology first used in the second generation Nissan LEAF, the new system allows attentive drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel under certain conditions.

Designed to reduce the driver’s workload and stress in single-lane highway traffic, ProPILOT 2.0 also supports multi-lane highway driving tasks such as lane changes, passing and highway exiting.

The system’s seven cameras, 5mm wave radars and 12 ultrasonic sonar sensors detect lane markers and objects around the vehicle, allowing hands-off single-lane driving along a predefined route, keeping with the flow of traffic.

It also performs safe, effective lane changes with a simple button-push confirmation by the driver. ProPILOT 2.0 also utilizes a dedicated shark fin antenna to receive accurate GPS positioning, assisting to create a smooth, predictable ride during assistance.

Another new intelligent driving feature in the Ariya is ProPILOT Remote Park. This technology expands on ProPILOT Park by adding the ability to park the vehicle from the outside with the use of a dedicated intelligent key.

When standing within 6-metres of the vehicle, the key holder can direct the Ariya to park in tight parking spots. This allows the driver and passengers to exit or enter the vehicle with ease, removing the need to contort to avoid door dings in tight spots.

The Nissan Ariya is also equipped with additional innovative 360-degree safety features such as the signature Nissan Safety Shield, which includes its intelligent around view monitor, forward collision warning, and forward and reverse emergency braking.

The display interface features both a 12.3-inch instrument monitor and 12.3-inch centre screen along a single horizon. By displaying multiple facets of information on one horizontal plane, information can be quickly digested without driver distraction.

The two displays are oriented in a wave-like shape to ensure important vehicle information, such as battery information, range and navigation, can be easily reached and scrolled through with a simple swipe.

The Ariya’s head-up display boasts one of the largest full-color displays in the segment as well. By saying Hello Nissan or Hey Nissan, occupants can also ask for vehicle information and manage the travel route, including searching for points of interest.

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 a Wi-Fi connection, the system can access cloud data to better understand unique requests, while Alexa can be invoked to perform vehicle to home functions on the drive home, including turning on lights and opening the garage door.

The Nissan Ariya will begin delivery in Japan from mid-2021 with an estimated starting price of around $67,000 AUD. Further details of final specifications and local pricing will be announced closer to its Australian launch.

2021 Nissan Ariya interior
Inside the 2021 Nissan Ariya
Mick Glenn
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.


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