The new Nissan Ariya electric SUV features bold styling, a range of up to 310 miles and a 389bhp performance variant – and Nissan claims it will “mark a new era for electric vehicles” by combining high levels of tech with “exciting” handling.
The Ariya retains the bold styling of the concept unveiled at last year’s Tokyo motor show and showcases Nissan’s new brand identity with “seamless, elegant and fresh” styling. It’s the first model built on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new CMF-EV electric architecture, with Nissan operating chief Ashwani Gupta saying it represents the start of “a new chapter for Nissan”. He said the firm has “strived to amplify the fun-to-drive aspect of electric mobility,” adding: “It’s not just a great EV crossover, but also a great vehicle – a true force of wonder that will take us into the future.”
The Ariya will be sold in five versions in the UK, with single-motor front-wheel-drive and twin-motor four-wheel-drive powertrains and a choice of 63kWh and 87kWh batteries.
The 63kWh single-motor model will offer 215bhp and a range of 223 miles, while it’s 239bhp and a 310-mile range for the 87kWh car. Both front-drive versions will produce 221lb ft, enabling a 0-62mph time of around 7.5sec and a top speed of 99mph.
The twin-motor powertrain uses Nissan’s new e-4orce four-wheel drive system, which the firm calls the “spiritual offspring” of the system used in the GT-R supercar. It employs a regenerative rear-motor braking system to minimise vehicle pitch and smooth the ride.
The 63kWh Ariya e-4orce will produce 275bhp and 413lb ft and have a range of 211 miles. The standard 87kWh version will offer 302bhp, 442lb ft and a 285-mile range.
A range-topping e-4orce Performance model will use the 87kWh battery but produce 389bhp and 442lb ft and have a 248-mile range. It will cover 0-62mph in a claimed 5.1sec and, like both other e-4orce models, have a top speed of 124mph.
The Ariya gets Standard, Sport and Eco driving modes, with e-4orce variants adding a Snow mode. Nissan claims the underfloor battery has been positioned to ensure 50:50 front/rear weight distribution, with flat underbody aerodynamics to boost stability. It also uses the Leaf’s e-Pedal regeneration system, allowing one-pedal driving.
Makoto Fukuda, the Ariya’s development chief, said the focus wasn’t just on achieving rapid acceleration but also on providing “maximum, usable performance in a wide range of driving conditions”.