Nissan today revealed to the world the all-new Nissan Ariya electric crossover, marking a new chapter for Nissan electric vehicles. The EV premiered globally through a virtual event hosted at the soon-to-open Nissan Pavilion in Yokohama.
The Ariya – Nissan’s first all-electric crossover SUV – 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 and provides a welcoming environment for the driver and passengers. And with an estimated range of up to 610 kilometers (based on Japan WLTC cycle; subject to homologation), Ariya is the perfect partner for daily commutes and road trips alike.
The Nissan Ariya is heavily based on the similarly-named concept vehicle displayed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show and first hinted at with the IMx at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. It’s the first production model to represent Nissan’s new electrified brand identity, forging a path toward a new automotive era where electrification, optimized platform packaging and seamless vehicle AI technology will become standard.
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 and zero vehicle fatalities. Representing the three main pillars of Nissan Intelligent Mobility (Intelligent Power, Intelligent Drive and Intelligent Integration), the Ariya combines advanced electric-vehicle technology with a new level of seamless human-machine interface connectivity, offering an entirely new driving experience.
Design: a completely reimagined appearance
The all-new Ariya is Nissan’s ultimate expression of style and technology, with each complimenting the other in aesthetics and function. The model’s 100% electric vehicle platform removed fundamental limitations and allowed designers to take new approaches to existing components.
The styling represents Ariya’s first Nissan Intelligent Mobility “touchpoint,” signaling a significant redefinition of Nissan’s design philosophy. This new philosophy is based on what Nissan calls Timeless Japanese Futurism – characterized by a distinctive Japanese approach conveyed in a simple-yet-powerfully modern way. Designers embraced this with the keywords 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 characterizes 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 center of the aerodynamic shield, beaming with crisp definition from the 20 LEDs that compose it. The new brand logo represents Nissan’s passion and dedication towards innovation by challenging conventional approaches. In keeping both sun and bar design elements, the logo signals respect for the company’s heritage while moving towards a future of mobility services and electrification.
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.
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 wheels also available, depending on the grade) communicate the vehicle’s dynamic stance and sporty nature.
A single, uninterrupted horizon line that stretches across the side profile, linking the front fascia and the rear, conveys linear movement, creating architectural beauty in tension and drama from every angle.
The rear of the Ariya is equally striking, characterized 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 consistent red illumination, day or night, when in use. Rear fender flares and a high-mounted rear wing signal Ariya’s powerful EV capabilities.
“The Ariya’s exterior proportions show what’s possible with Nissan’s 100% electric-vehicle platform,” explained Senior Design Director Giovanny Arroba. “The surprisingly short overhangs, aggressive roofline and large wheels provide an elegant appearance that flawlessly balances sport and luxury.”
A newly-developed exterior two-tone color package, Akatsuki, expresses the moment just before dawn, as the sun marks the beginning of a new day. The combination of copper with a black roof highlight the body’s flowing nature and movement of an EV 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.
Defined by the Japanese term ma – referring to spatiotemporal openings – 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 starship, evoking performance and intrigue, than to a traditional automotive cabin.
The advantages provided by the company’s all-new EV platform have enabled Ariya to offer the most spacious cabin 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 hood (where a traditional gasoline engine would be), allowing the designers to utilize the whole length of the cabin without obstructions, such as a transmission tunnel or cabin systems tucked under the instrument panel.
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 quiet cabin, allowing everyone inside to relax and enjoy the stress-free, lounge-like space.
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 buttons and switches found in conventional vehicles. Primary climate control functions are integrated into the wooden center dash in the form of capacitive haptic switches that offer the same feeling as mechanical switches by vibrating when touched.
The adjustable center 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, with the flat cabin floor allowing them to easily cross their legs and relax. 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.
“The interior of the Ariya is a pleasant ‘living space’ for the driver and occupants to enjoy while experiencing the theater of traveling to familiar and new destinations,” Arroba said. “The materials throughout the interior were carefully selected to avoid the overly traditional feel of some luxury vehicles, while giving an impression of premium futurism in technology and utility.”
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 four core models offered, including two-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions, the Ariya meets the driving needs of a wide range of customers.
The Ariya two-wheel-drive model with 63 kWh of usable battery capacity1 is ideal for urban commuters and first time EV owners looking for quality and style in their next-generation EV. The Ariya two-wheel-drive model with 87 kWh of usable battery capacity1 offers a larger battery, delivering additional range for those looking to venture on longer journeys.
The Ariya e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive model with 63 kWh of usable battery capacity1 offers an attractive balance in performance and value in its segment. With slightly less emphasis 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, equal to or better than many premium sports cars. The Ariya e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive model with 87 kWh of usable battery capacity1 features the highest level of Nissan Intelligent Mobility available, including ProPILOT 2.0 which offers hands-off single lane highway driving capability.
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.
e-4ORCE: 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% electric motor drive system. “4ORCE” (pronounced force) 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.
Engineers fine-tuned the e-4ORCE’s precision control technology and twin electric motors to provide unparalleled ride comfort. Vehicle pitch and dive are minimized by adding regenerative rear-motor braking to the usual front-motor regenerative braking employed by typical EV and hybrid systems today.
“By taking advantage of e-4ORCE’s precise motor control response, we’re able to control vehicle motion as soon as the brakes are applied, giving all occupants – especially passengers – a stable, smooth ride,” said Ryozo Hiraku, expert leader of Nissan’s powertrain and EV engineering division.
In addition to optimizing front and rear torque allocation, the system applies independent brake control at each of the four wheels to maximize the cornering force generated by each one. This delivers cornering that faithfully follows driver intentions with minimal steering adjustments.
“The Ariya’s Intelligent Power is one of the pillars that define Nissan’s DNA,” said Makoto Fukuda, development chief product specialist of the Ariya. “There is often talk about EVs and their 0-to-100-kph time, but actually it’s easy for EVs to achieve good acceleration times. The Ariya is also fast in a straight line, but it provides maximum, usable performance in a wide range of driving conditions such as on a snowy mountain road or on wet city streets.”
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 optimized to deliver exceptional handling. The battery pack sits under the center of the vehicle to ensure a low center 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 optimized to take advantage of this, ensuring stable handling and a comfortable ride while also suppressing vibrations and noise from entering the cabin space.
In the rear, the suspension packaging, including the multi-link system and rear electric motor (if equipped), create an exceptional balance of ride comfort, handling and performance.
With three drive modes, including Standard, Sport and ECO (e-4ORCE models include an additional Snow mode), drivers have the ability to customize 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.
The underbody’s flat, aerodynamic nature assists with a stable ride while a tight turning radius adds to the Ariya’s capability not only on the highway, but also narrow streets and parking.
In addition to all-new advanced technologies creating a smoother, relaxing ride, the Nissan Ariya also features driver assistance technology that have been enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of drivers around the globe. e-Pedal, first introduced in the Nissan LEAF electric car, allows the driver to launch, accelerate and decelerate using only the accelerator pedal. e-Pedal works by initiating the electric motor to start the deceleration process of the vehicle when easing off the accelerator pedal.
On low-traction surfaces, the brakes are applied simultaneously with the motor, allowing all four wheels to safely slow down the vehicle. On models equipped with e-4ORCE, regenerative torque is distributed not only to the front wheels, but also the rear.
While every Ariya model will feature impressive driving range in its segment, it also boasts remarkable range recovery and quick-charge performance. This is thanks in part to its battery thermal control feature, which constantly optimizes the operating temperature of the liquid-cooled battery. Using peak 130 kW charging, the Ariya can recover up to 375 kilometers with a 30-minute quick charge using Japan’s CHAdeMO charging system. (Japan specification and charging system capable of 130 kW charging, estimation subject to homologation and environmental and battery conditions)
Intelligent Driving: a high-tech, low-stress driving experience
ProPILOT 2.0 is the newest iteration of Nissan’s driver assistance technology. Equipped as standard on the second generation Nissan LEAF, ProPILOT is a hands-on assistance system that helps drivers stay centered in their lane, navigate stop-and-go highway traffic and maintain a set vehicle speed and distance to the vehicle ahead. ProPILOT 2.0 expands on this, allowing attentive drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel under certain conditions, reducing the driver’s workload and stress in single-lane highway traffic.2,3 In addition, ProPILOT 2.0 also supports multi-lane highway driving tasks such as lane changes, passing and highway exiting.
The system’s seven cameras, five millimeter-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.
ProPILOT 2.0 uses the navigation system and high-definition 3-D map data to detect the road surface, direction and speed limits, adjusting vehicle speed accordingly for a safe and trouble-free journey. A Driver Monitoring System mounted on the steering column confirms the driver is attentive to the road ahead when using the hands-off feature. In addition to the intuitive meter display and head-up display information, the status of the ProPILOT system is shown in the cabin by an advanced ambient lighting system: white indicates normal manual operation or that Intelligent Cruise Control is engaged; green indicates hands-on assisted driving; and blue indicates when the hands-off driving function with lane-change assist is activated.
When driving in hands-on mode with a pre-defined route, ProPILOT takes advantage of the extensive 3-D map data to keep the vehicle centered in the lane with increased accuracy. The map data also allows for more driver assistance during cornering by using road curvature data to safely navigate around blind corners, further reducing driver stress.
When the destination is reached, ProPILOT Park takes the stress out of parking by helping recognize 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 (available in limited markets).
Another new intelligent driving feature in the Ariya is ProPILOT Remote Park (Japan market only). This technology expands on ProPILOT Park, offered in the Nissan LEAF, by adding the ability to park the vehicle from the outside with the use of a dedicated Intelligent Key. When standing within 6 meters 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.
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 updates over the air. 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.
The Ariya also includes Amazon Alexa to help customers simplify and organize their lives. Alexa can play music, place calls, listen to audiobooks, control smart home devices and more, with just your voice. The two systems work hand in hand to provide a seamless, tailored user experience, whether during a daily commute or a weekend trip.
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 while enjoying a morning coffee. 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 center 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.
The display interface features both a 12.3-inch instrument monitor and 12.3-inch center display along a single horizon. By displaying multiple facets of information on one horizontal plane, information can be quickly digested without the driver being distracted from the road. 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.
Further information can be swiped between the displays to customize and prioritize the information displayed just behind the steering wheel for an unparalleled bespoke experience. And, the Ariya’s heads-up display boasts one of the largest full-color displays in the segment. The projected display shows similar information found in the meter display, providing crisp, driving information within the driver’s field of vision without being distracting.
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 a Wi-Fi connection, the system can access cloud data to better understand unique requests.
On the drive home, Alexa can be invoked to perform vehicle-to-home functions, including turning on interior home lighting or opening the garage door.
“Nissan’s intelligent personal assistance technology is an expression of omotenashi – the Japanese custom of respecting the customer to the highest degree,” Fukuda said.” It provides a seamless experience, both off- and on-board. The Ariya supports your lifestyle whether from home or on the go.”
The Ariya is also the first Nissan model with firmware updates over the air, 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 center.
With periodic real-time updates, the Ariya is always operating at its full potential. A dual-bank memory system even allows for updates while on the go. Updates are downloaded and stored in a separate memory bank. When the system has confirmed the download, it switches to the updated memory bank. Updates are applied quickly and easily, making updates and new feature integration a seamless experience.
The future of the electric vehicle is now
The Nissan Ariya 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 sleek, sexy, seamless design inspired by Timeless Japanese Futurism gives all occupants a welcome, personal impression that aims to surpass expectations.
The Nissan Ariya will begin delivery in Japan from mid-2021 with an estimated starting price of around 5 million yen.