Nissan today officially unveiled the Ariya, their first electric crossover SUV, during a livestream from Yokohama, Japan.
It is also Nissan’s first electric vehicle (EV) debut since the Nissan Leaf launched ten years ago.
The Ariya will come in both front-wheel drive (FWD) and e-4ORCE all-wheel drive (AWD) configurations, with either a 63kWh (out of 65kWh) or 87kWh (out of 90kWh) battery pack. The EV doesn’t have an officially approved range estimate yet, but Nissan is aiming for 300 miles (482km) on a single charge for the larger battery in the FWD model.
One of the biggest EV technology changes for the Ariya compared to the Leaf is that it will have a liquid-cooled battery design with a new thermal management system. Leaf owners know all too well the pitfalls of their vehicle’s air-cooled system, which can reduce battery life and increase charging time.
With the change, the Nissan Ariya will come with Level 2 charging up to 7.2kW, and DC Fast Charging up to 130kW using the CCS standard. Nissan claims that will provide 175 miles of range added in as little as 30 minutes.
It is not known if the DC Fast Charging standard on North American cars will also be CCS, or CHAdeMO, which is the current standard in North America and Europe.
Nissan’s newest version of its driver-assistance technology, ProPilot Assist 2.0, will also come standard on the Ariya. The hands-on assistance system can help drivers stay centered in their lane, navigate stop-and-go highway traffic and maintain a set vehicle speed and distance to the vehicle ahead.
The interior is roomy, and was designed to give an open feeling to its occupants. The dash features a minimalist instrument panel which, taking a page from Tesla’s book, features no buttons or switches. Instead, features like climate control will be controlled by capacative haptic switches that vibrate when touched.
There will be two separate 12.3″ touchscreen displays on the dash, along with a heads-up display (HUD). The car will also come with Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as standard.
Overall the Nissan Ariya looks like it could be a solid contender in the electric crossover segment, but we’ll have to wait a while to officially find out.
Nissan aims to have the Ariya go on sale in China by mid-2021, followed by sales in Europe and North America in late 2021.
Pricing is set to start at about 5 million yen ($63,600 CAD), which puts it price point slightly lower than the Model Y, which after a recent price drop, now starts at $69,990 for the Long Range version.