Nissan has revealed its first electric SUV and second fully-electric model, the Ariya, which not only boasts impressive range and performance, but looks to propel the brand’s technology arsenal forward with the debut of autonomous driving tech in one of its models.

Set to join the second-generation Leaf hatchback in Nissan’s electric lineup, the Ariya is slated for a mid-2021 launch in its home market of Japan at a price of ¥5,000,000 (roughly AU$66,870), and although whether the model will come to Australia or not is yet to be confirmed, Nissan Australia is reportedly hoping to add it to its local lineup, potentially in 2022.

Built on an all-new EV platform developed as part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance that boasts 50:50 weight distribution, the Ariya range is set to include two different sizes of battery pack – a smaller unit with 63kWh usable, and a larger one with a usable 87kWh, which Nissan rounds up to 65kWh and 90kWh respectively – and the option for both front- and all-wheel drive.

The new dual-motor electric all-wheel drive system, which Nissan has dubbed e-4ORCE, is claimed as being a spiritual successor to the ATTESA E-TS torque split system seen in the GT-R, with it using ultra-high-precision motor and brake control to help the vehicle better respond to driver inputs in sub-optimal conditions.

In the flagship 90kWh Performance model with this new all-wheel drive system, the Ariya boasts power outputs of 210kW and 600Nm, making it good for 0-100km/h in just 5.1 seconds, while it and all other all-wheel drive models will have a top speed in excess of 200km/h.

Although Nissan’s Japanese arm claims range of over 600km, information from Nissan Europe indicates that on the tougher and more accurate WLTP test cycle, the front-wheel drive models will have a range of around 350km with the smaller 65kWh battery pack and 500km for the 90kWh model, while all-wheel drive variants claim 340km with the smaller battery pack, 460km for the regular 90kWh variant, and 400km for the 90kWh Performance model.

The Ariya will also be one of the first models in Nissan’s arsenal to receive the ProPilot 2.0 semi-autonomous driving system, which allows for brief moments of hands-free driving including lane changes and exiting under driver supervision. Also set to feature is ProPilot Remote Park, which allows the driver to get out of the vehicle and let it park itself in a tight spot.

Sporting a somewhat coupe-like sloping roofline at the rear, the Ariya will be available in a range of 10 colours with a two-tone black roof and the option of 19- or 20-inch aluminium wheels to help “communicate the vehicle’s dynamic stance and sporty nature.” At 4595mm in length, 1850mm in width, 1655mm in height, and sat on a 2775mm wheelbase, it sits between the Qashqai and X-Trail in size.

The Ariya will also debut Nissan’s new logo on its fascia, with it set to be illuminated on this and all future electric models from the company.

Inside its minimalist cabin, the Ariya features twin 12.3-inch digital displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system, the latter of which features voice commands that work in tandem with Apple Siri and Amazon Echo, along with integrating Amazon Alexa for vehicle-to-home commands.

A full colour head-up display also features, along with climate controls integrated into a wooden panel that runs the dashboard’s length and an adjustable centre console with memory settings for its placement.

The Ariya marks the first of 12 new models Nissan plans to roll out in the coming 18 months, with plans to introduce its semi-autonomous driving tech into 20 models in as many markets by 2023.

Nissan Ariya European market specifications

DrivetrainFWD 65kWhFWD 90kWhAWD 65kWhAWD 90kWhAWD 90kWh Performance
Power Output160kW178kW205kW225kW290kW
Top Speed160km/h160km/h200km/h200km/h200km/h
WLTP Range Estimate360km500km340km460km400km

Patrick Jackson
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