Nissan Ariya Concept Previews Future Design

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - October 24, 2019

Tesla may be getting all the attention in the world of electric vehicles, but Nissan was one of the first to enter the electric scene with the Leaf. The Leaf, though, is old news compared to newer, larger, and more modern electric cars. Nissan is looking to come out with its second EV, which it previewed with the Ariya Concept. Unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Ariya Concept is a look at a production vehicle that could be on the market within the next few years.

At the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the IMX Concept, which was more of a “look at what we’re working on” kind of a vehicle while the Ariya Concept is much more realistic. For one, the styling isn’t as futuristic as the concept car that preceded it, as it has real exterior mirrors and door handles. All joking aside, the Ariya Concept is being used to not only reveal what the next EV from Nissan will be, but also what kind of design the Japanese automaker is moving toward.

On the outside, the Ariya has a mix of smooth lines and sharp edges, as opposed to a lot of Nissan’s current models that have long, sweeping designs. Thin LED headlights are a departure for the brand, too, and are positioned on top of a large grille that has a “shield” design instead of a mesh one that we’re used to seeing. The grille still has the same V-motion blueprint that Nissan recently came out with, but has an illuminated section. In a move that a lot of automakers are adopting with their crossovers, the Ariya has a coupe-like rear end with a heavily sloping rear roofline. Wider and shorter than any of Nissan’s current SUVs, the concept is certainly a looker.

Nissan Ariya Concept

Taking a longer peek at the Ariya’s back end reveals a few more unique touches. The concept’s wearing a rear spoiler that has a prominent bar in the middle, making it look like a two-piece unit instead of the smooth one-piece ones that Nissan currently uses for its SUVs. A middle light bar connects the rear taillights, which isn't something we've seen from a modern Nissan. In another unusual move, the Ariya has the words “NISSAN” sitting just below the middle light bar that lights up.

In keeping with a design element that’s offered with the Kicks, the Ariya has a blue paint job with a contrasting black roof. Two-tone paint schemes are becoming more popular with SUVs these days and are being marketed as adding another sense of sportiness to vehicles. Whether that’s true or not depends on personal preference, but the Ariya does look good with it. Lastly, the Ariya’s wearing 21-inch wheels with copper accents.

Details on the upcoming electric crossover are scarce. The Ariya utilizes a new electric platform with two electric motors and a battery pack that’s mounted in the floor. The twin-motor design comes with a unique all-wheel-control system that borrows engineering from the GT-R’s ATTESA E-TS system and the Patrol’s four-by-four system.

Nissan integrated its latest ProPilot 2.0 system into the Ariya Concept. It’s a driver-assist system that’s capable of hands-off driving in single-lane situations. This being a concept to look into the future, it’s only natural Nissan would pack it with the latest tech.

Nissan Ariya Concept

As far as concepts go, the Ariya isn’t as radical as some we’ve seen. With the Leaf aging quickly against the competition, we’re sure Nissan is gearing up to bring in a replacement or at least a sidekick to join the little hatchback. The brand isn’t saying when a production version of the electric crossover will come out, saying some elements “could make it into production in the near future.” With more automakers coming out with electric crossovers, we’re inclined to say that the future is close.

Explore Nissan's lineup »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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