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First Look: Nissan Ariya Concept

First Look: Nissan Ariya Concept
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A full-blown electric crossover from Nissan. A concept to be sure, but to think that we’re not going to see something similar in the near future would seem to be foolish.

Well, duh! Crossovers are all the rage right now. And are or are we not in the middle of an electric vehicle revolution? So, a better question is why would anyone not be building crossover EVs.

We don’t know much technically about the Ariya other than that it will boast two electric motors — for all-wheel-drive performance; it is ostensibly an SUV — and that it is moderately sized. In fact, it’s almost identical in length, width and size as the Mazda MX-30 being shown here in Tokyo as well as the Kia Niro.

Visually, the Ariya hints at the IMx concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. That means it has a “bold” and “electrifying” V-motion signature “shield” not to mention a “striking rear light blade” and “an interior that feels more like a lounge than a conventional vehicle.”

“The Ariya Concept represents a strong collaboration between design and engineering,” said Yasuhiro Yamauchi, representative executive officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “It is the next stage of Nissan’s future design language as we embark on a new era for the company – the next stage in our evolution.”

Said evolution includes a flat passenger floor thanks to the horizontal battery pack, and an instrument panel that disappears when the vehicle is not in use. The only physical controls are the start button, a single knob to operate the 12.3-inch display monitor, and the climate controls, which are artfully ingrained into the instrument panel’s genuine-wood lower section. The seats, meanwhile, feature super-thin frames to increase free interior space. As well, Nissan’s ProPILOT 2.0 allows hands-free driving and Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility offers 360-degree sensing.

On the performance front, Nissan says the Ariya benefits from influence from the GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS torque split system to create a system manages power delivery and brake performance together. As for range, Nissan is keeping that exact, and all-important, spec under wraps. The company does say the Ariya uses CHAdeMO quick charging and the charging port unlocks upon the driver’s approach and uses distinct colors to show the vehicle’s charge status at a glance.

Never. It’s a concept after all. But like I said, I’d be very surprised if you could not buy something very much like the Ariya by 2022.

Well, Nissan is committed to the electrification of its entire fleet. And crossovers are the hottest segment in the land. So the question might not be “should you,” but which one you should. The Ariya makes a convincing argument that Nissan is on the right path here. Certainly this supposed “concept” — the Ariya looks production ready to us — makes a fine argument for Nissan leading the field.
Read more on driving.ca
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