This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
On April 15, Nissan Motor Co. unveiled its long-awaited new crossover EV, the Nissan Ariya, which will go on sale in Japan around the middle of 2021. According to Nissan, the "actual purchase price" is expected to start at about 5 million yen.
Production of the concept car
The Nissan Aria is a new electric car that is a production version of the concept car of the same name that was displayed at the Tokyo Motor Show in the fall of 2019. As announced by Nissan, the interior and exterior design is largely unchanged from the concept car, aside from some subtle details. At least those who were expecting to see the concept car won't be disappointed. Even the ultra-slim headlights with their distinctive four LEDs and the slender taillights that extend the full width of the car have the added functionality required by law to keep the concept's image intact.
The coupe-style crossover, with its gently sloping roofline that extends to the back end, is a global trend-setter, but Nissan's design theme, "Timeless Japanese Futurism," reflects the beauty and power of traditional Japanese simplicity in a modern way.
The logo has been redesigned
The vehicle measures 4595mm in length x 1850mm in width x 1655mm in height. It's about the same as the Toyota RAV4, but with a much longer wheelbase of 2775mm.
Since EVs, which do not have an engine under the hood, do not require a front grille as an air vent, the front of the Ariya is covered with a smoke-tinted panel, inside of which are the sensors necessary for semi-autonomous driving technology. The surface is engraved with a three-dimensional pattern inspired by the "Kumiko" traditional Japanese woodwork technique.
Glowing (literally) in the center is Nissan's new logo, which was adopted from the Aria. The new logo, which looks more sophisticated for the times, represents the company's traditional phrase, "A strong belief can pierce the sun". The motif of a horizon line through a round sun is inherited.
The dashboard that eliminates physical switches
The interior hasn't changed much from the concept car. The first eye-catching S-shaped display is, according to Nissan, it "combines the natural eye movement of the driver with the ease of use of the touch display". A full-color head-up display is also provided. The door trim and footlights are also inspired by Japanese Kumiko. It is said to offer "rich light shifts depending on the angle of view".
The HVAC switches integrated into the wood grain panel are haptics. They are designed to feel like they are being pressed. As an EV with no propeller shaft or exhaust pipes under the floor and no transmission required, the Ariya's center console as well as the seats can be electrically adjusted back and forth.
The platform is completely new
The Ariya's platform was newly developed specifically for EVs. It was not appropriated from the "LEAF". The motor is smaller and the battery is thinner. In addition, the air conditioning unit was moved from the inside of the car to the motor room at the front of the car and the body size was reduced to C segment (a class such as the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf), but Nissan says it was able to create a spacious cabin that is equivalent to a class above.
Electric 4-wheel drive system "e-4orce"
The battery is also the first Nissan EV to feature a water-cooled temperature control system. Not only does this prevent the battery from being affected by outside temperatures and ensure stable battery performance, but you can also expect less battery degradation than a conventional air-cooled system.
There are four electric power units with two battery capacities and two drive systems to choose from, depending on the budget and usage. The lithium-ion battery, which sits under the floor in the center of the vehicle, is available in 65kWh and 90kWh capacities. There's a front-wheel drive option with just one motor in the front, or a four-wheel drive option with an additional motor for rear-wheel drive.
The twin-motor, four-wheel electric drive system, dubbed "e-4orce," combines EV control technology with Nissan's expertise in sports four-wheel drive vehicles, such as the GT-R. The system is designed to provide precise, individualized control of the front and rear motors to suit the driving conditions of the vehicle. Nissan is proud to say that the new system not only increases stability and peace of mind, but also provides a "fun-to-drive" experience. In addition to the torque generated by the two motors, regenerative braking can also be controlled front and rear. It is possible to adjust the body's sinking during deceleration and reduce body shaking. At the presentation, video footage of Ariya driving down a snowy, winding road was shown.
Four types of electric drive trains
When the 65 kWh battery is combined with front-wheel drive, the motor has a maximum output of 160 kW. It produces 300Nm of torque, accelerates from 0-100km/h in 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 160km/h. And the range that can be driven on a single full charge is up to 450km in WLTC mode. In other words, the range is only slightly shorter than the Nissan LEAF's 62kWh battery (458km). Unsurprisingly, this spec is expected to be the most affordable Ariya, and Nissan's "Actual purchase price from 5 million yen" seems to apply to this model.
The 90kWh front-wheel-drive model has the longest range of any model in the Ariya line-up, up to 610km. Although the motor's maximum power output is increased to 178 kW (maximum torque remains the same at 300 Nm), the car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in only 7.6 seconds, probably due to the weight of the extra battery.
Powered by a 65 kWh battery and two motors, the Aria has a range of up to 430 km, but the two motors produce a combined maximum output of 250 kW and 560 Nm of torque. It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 200 km/h. The combination of the relatively light weight of the car and the e-4orce is going to make the specification of the car a maximum driving pleasure when driven.
The top-of-the-line four-wheel-drive model, which carries a 90 kWh battery, has two motors producing a combined maximum output of 290 kW and 600 Nm of torque. It has acceleration power comparable to that of the Nissan 370Z, from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds. It has a driving range of up to 580km, and although detailed equipment and specifications have yet to be announced, it comes with a full range of standard features. It appears to be the highest grade of its kind.
Up to 375km on a 30-minute quick charge
The Ariya's battery can support a maximum of 130kW of fast charging, and according to Nissan, "when using a CHAdeMO fast charger capable of outputting more than 130kW", the vehicle can travel up to 375km in 30 minutes of fast charging. While the current LEAF e+ supports a maximum output of 100kW for quick charging, the maximum charging power is only about 70kW, so this is a big step forward. In the event of a disaster, the vehicle can be used as a mobile storage battery to supply power to an external source.
ProPilot 2.0 also uses the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System
The Ariya is a new EV that Nissan has worked very hard to develop, so the latest versions of its driver assistance and connected technologies have been introduced. Nissan's ProPilot 2.0, which was first used in the Skyline, has seven cameras, five radars, and 12 sonars to detect white lines, signs, and vehicles in the vicinity, as well as by using GPS and 3D high-precision map data, the technology allows for hands-off driving on the highway (depending on the situation). In addition, the Ariya also used the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System for the first time. It has made it possible to determine the vehicle's position with greater accuracy.
Powered by Amazon Alexa
As far as connected technology is concerned, Nissan Ariya features Amazon Alexa, a voice service provided by Amazon. Any smart home device that supports Alexa can be controlled from inside the car. For example, you can switch on your home's air conditioning and lights before you get home. Or conversely, you can check your car's battery level and range via a smart speaker from home.
Before the drive, you can also use your smartphone to set a destination for the navigation system. If there's no way to get to a location with the current battery level, the system will automatically select a charging spot along the way. Map information and other information is updated wirelessly, just like a smartphone.
Its rival is the Tesla Model Y
The launch is about a year away, so no price has been revealed yet, but as mentioned above, Nissan has stated that the actual purchase price starts at 5 million yen. Nissan has stated that the real purchase price starts at 5 million yen. That would mean that, apart from incentives, it would start in the mid-5 million yen range. It's going to compete head-to-head with Tesla Model Y, which was recently reduced to a price of $49,990 in the US.
Incidentally, the Tesla Model Y, which you can buy for that price, comes standard with four-wheel drive with two motors. The range is about 508 km in US EPA mode (often stricter than WLTC), and the 0-60 mph time is 4.8 seconds, which is a good indication of the costs and benefits of this vehicle. Looking at the numbers alone, Model Y seems to have an advantage over the Ariya in terms of cost performance. However, the Autopilot automatic driving feature is an $8,000 option.
Nevertheless, for Ariya, "available at a Nissan dealership" may be the biggest advantage over Tesla in Japan, rather than performance or equipment.
(The above specifications are current as of July 2020 and are subject to change in the future.)
Related Link: Nissan Ariya official website
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.