Nissan has unveiled the Ariya Concept at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show. Unveiled alongside the Nissan IMk Concept, both vehicles serve as precursors to Nissan's new vision of an electrified brand identity and philosophy.
The Ariya Concept expands on design elements first hinted at by the Nissan IMx concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. They include the bold electrified V-motion signature "shield" and striking rear light blade, short overhangs, and an interior that feels more like a lounge than a conventional vehicle.
Measuring 4600 mm in length, 1920 mm in width, and 1630 mm in height (about the size of an X-Trail) – the Ariya highlights how design, packaging, and driver enjoyment can be transformed through the architecture of new EV platforms. Nissan has even hinted that despite it being a concept vehicle, the crossover EV's bold styling and unconventional interior and exterior elements could make it into production in the near future.
Among the aesthetic highlights are the Ariya’s wide front fenders, super-thin LED headlights, as well as the front shield (or grille) which is finished with an illuminated Nissan emblem. Highlighting the Ariya’s profile are five-spoke, 21-inch aluminium wheels with custom tires, a low roofline, and steeply raked C-Pillars. Round the back, a one-piece light blade with blacked-out lenses runs across the width of the body accentuating the stance of the vehicle.
On the inside, the minimalist dashboard integrates haptic touch controls and an instrument panel that comes to life with a glow. When the car is not in use, they disappear into the surface. The only physical controls are the start button, a single knob to operate the 12.3-inch display monitor, and the climate controls, which sit flush within the instrument panel's genuine-wood lower section. The seats feature a super-thin frame for better comfort and packaging; finished with perforated leather and a copper fabric under the perforation for added detail and depth.
Powering the Ariya is a “high-performance” electric drive system that delivers torque to the wheels through two motors, situated on the front and rear axles respectively. Powertrain details are still scarce, but Nissan claims the Ariya has a driving range of more than 600 km on a full charge and utilises a CHAdeMO DC quick-charger.
The Ariya will also offer seamless cornering performance and traction thanks to the twin-motor, all-wheel control system – employing learnings from the Nissan GT-R's ATTESA E-TS torque split system and the Nissan Patrol's intelligent 4X4 system. Engineers created this new system to manage the EV's power delivery and brakes automatically, ensuring smooth progress with minimal tire slippage.
The Ariya Concept features the latest version of Nissan's award-winning driver assistance system, ProPILOT 2.0, which now combines navigated highway driving with hands-off single-lane driving capabilities. ProPILOT 2.0 also enables hands-off driving while cruising in a given lane (certain limitations are still present), but when approaching a road diversion or preparing to pass another vehicle, the system is able to judge the appropriate timing of branching off or passing based on information from the navigation system and 360-degree sensing.
When driving with ProPILOT 2.0 engaged, the interior lighting changes colours to signal that hands-off driving is enabled.
Other next-generation features featured in the Ariya include:
- Door to Door Navigation: which allows anyone to set a destination on their smartphone, transfer it to the Ariya Concept and have the vehicle's navigation system continue offering directions
- Virtual Personal Assistant: helps look up information and locate parking, so that the driver can keep their eyes on the road.
- ProPILOT Remote Park: drivers can use their smartphone or a dedicated device to park the car automatically from a nearby location.
- Firmware Over The Air (FOTA): technology provides constant updates for the navigation system, graphic user interface and driving characteristics to ensure the car is running effectively and is updated with the latest features.