When the Japanese automotive giant Nissan launched its flagship electric vehicle The Nissan Leaf about a decade ago in 2010, one could barely have imagined how it would revolutionize the electric vehicle industry across the world. A 5-door compact hatchback, the Leaf has consistently won awards over a period of years, including the prestigious World Car of the Year award in 2011 and is the world’s all-time best selling highway-capable electric vehicle till date, clocking sales of over 400,000 units.
So when the company decided to launch a prototype of its newest electric entrant, The Nissan Ariya Concept at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, heads were bound to turn. Crisp along the edges and in the rear, as well as neatly curved in the front, the Nissan Ariya has a fresh appeal to it and looks poised to take over as the brand’s flagship electric vehicle. At 4.6m long and 1.92m wide, this compact crossover from Nissan built on Nissan’s latest modular vehicle architecture is wider than the X-Trail, albeit a little shorter in height. On the outside, thin LEDs blend in seamlessly with the front grille in a V-motion design typical of the brand and the snazzy rims only serve to enhance the appeal of the concept.
The interiors of the Ariya are pretty spacious, given the floor-mounted battery and the open-pore wood finishing feels warm and welcoming, even though the interiors have been kept neatly minimalistic. The dashboard barely has any buttons, save for climate control and keyless ignition and there is only a single knob provided beneath the 12.3” infotainment display to control it. The Nissan Ariya comes equipped with a semi-autonomous driver system called the ProPilot 2.0 which allows for hands-off driving across long stretches, and can even exit motorways as directed by the navigation and overtake cars running at slower speeds. There is also a Virtual Personal Assistant, coupled with video chat functionality and even the ability to preheat or cool the car according the schedule of the driver.
In terms of the engine, the Nissan Ariya has a twin-motor electric setup that produces 227kW of power and 680Nm of torque (more than a V8 Mustang or a Jaguar F-Type), sending it to all four wheels. This kind of power and torque vectoring technology adopted from the Nissan GT-R allows it to have an acceleration that would put certain supercars to shame. As for the steer, the improved road-holding and flat cornering on the Ariya makes for a much more stable and crisp driving experience as compared to the Leaf.
Even the car’s regenerative braking has been worked upon to make it much more efficient than that of the Nissan Leaf. The Ariya also supports Nissan Energy, a technology that allows the vehicle to power the household and even send extra energy back to the grid if and when required. Given the detailing on the concept, the Nissan Ariya seems like it should be ready for production very soon in the near future and we just cannot wait to get behind the wheels of one.