Nissan unveiled the Ariya Concept, a crossover EV with twin electric motors, at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show.
The Ariya Concept features a spacious cabin with high-tech features and a body that conveys the pure, clean nature of electric cars. It embodies the Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision of personal transportation – one where electrification and vehicle intelligence will offer seamless and adaptive travel experiences free of accidents or harmful emissions.
The Ariya Concept expands on design elements first hinted at by the Nissan IMx concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. They include the electrified V-motion signature “shield” and rear light blade, short overhangs, and an interior that feels more like a lounge than a conventional vehicle.
Although it’s a concept vehicle, the crossover EV’s bold styling and unconventional interior and exterior elements could make it into production in the near future.
“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.”
The Ariya Concept shares the stage at the Tokyo Motor Show with the Nissan IMk, an EV urban commuter concept revealed earlier this month. The two vehicles serve as “bookends” for Nissan’s new vision of an electrified brand identity.
The Ariya Concept represents an entirely new design direction for Nissan.
“A new vehicle architecture means fresh opportunities to redefine how vehicles interact with society, how an EV paired with advanced driving capabilities can offer a new perspective,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice-president of global design. “With this vehicle and the IMk concept, we wanted to ensure that the soul of every Nissan car possess a distinctive Japanese DNA conveyed in a simple-yet-powerfully modern way, something we call ‘Timeless Japanese Futurism.”
Characterized by the concepts “sleek,” “seamless” and “sexy,” the Nissan Ariya Concept features examples of this new design language throughout the exterior, including wide front fenders, super-thin LED headlights, as well as the front shield (typically a grille on a gasoline-powered vehicle) which is emblazoned with a bespoke, illuminated Nissan emblem. The shield incorporates a subtle geometric pattern that reveals itself when the electrified V-motion signature is illuminated.
“We replaced the conventional grille with what we call a ‘shield’ – an expressive piece with innovative 3-D texture within that goes beyond cosmetics, but also as a way to highlight the technology lurking within the vehicle,” said Albaisa. “In this case, it’s a radar sensor and other technologies that help the Ariya Concept read the road and visualize things the driver can’t see.”
Highlighting the vehicle’s profile are five-blade, 21-inch aluminum wheels with custom tires. A low, sleek roofline allows the vehicle to slice through the air. The styling of the Ariya Concept’s rear is also a departure from traditional SUVs, with a steeply raked C-pillar that blends seamlessly into a muscular rear deck. A one-piece light blade with blacked-out lenses runs across the width of the body. Rear fender flares and a high-mounted rear wing offer not-so-subtle suggestions of the vehicle’s power.