Nissan Ariya previews electric crossover concept at Tokyo auto show

The first mainstream automaker to jump into the electric-car fold now is among the last to confirm a production crossover that runs purely runs on electric power. 

On Tuesday at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan unveiled its Ariya concept crossover, an all-electric design study that Nissan said was a “realistic look” at a future crossover from the brand. Although Nissan was largely first out of the gate with a production electric vehicle from a mainstream automaker, Nissan has lagged behind other automakers such as Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Hyundai and others to announce an all-electric crossover.

Nissan didn’t provide many specifics about the Ariya crossover, but said the concept was equipped with an all-wheel-drive system and measured roughly 181 inches from bumper to bumper, which is sized similarly to the Nissan Rogue that’s already on sale. The all-wheel-drive system uses two electric motors, one for each axle, and can transfer torque side to side along each axle, although Nissan didn’t provide any specs for the car.

Nissan Ariya Concept

Nissan Ariya Concept

Nissan says the Ariya concept will preview an electric crossover based on an all-electric platform from the automaker and telegraph design language from the automaker for its future cars. The Ariya follows the IMx concept car, which debuted at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, and the IMk concept car, which was unveiled earlier this year. Nissan says the IMk and Ariya will serve as bookends for the automaker’s EV range.

The Ariya draws deeply from the automaker’s well of “V-motion” grilles. The electric crossover’s high grille has a wide and deep bow that plunges toward the front bumper, with a thin black strip framed by two strips of headlights. LED daytime running lights shape the “V” and push down toward the ground, while a geometric grille fills the space between the lights. The Ariya’s profile is punctuated by a copper-colored roof line on top of the windows that draws attention to the fast roof and steeply raked rear roof pillar. The rear of the Ariya is more conventional and uses a thin strip of LED lights along the back that spans the rear hatch.

Nissan Ariya Concept

Nissan Ariya Concept

Inside, the Ariya uses a 12.3-inch digital display—something already in use by many automakers today—and synthetic leather upholstery to cover seats for up to five. Perhaps in a nod to near-term production plans, Nissan doesn’t make broad claims about self-driving or autonomous capability; the Ariya uses Nissan’s newest driver-assistance suite, ProPilot 2.0, which is already available on the Skyline sedan sold in other markets around the world.

The Ariya uses a CHAdeMO charging connector, although Nissan didn’t say how fast the crossover could charge nor how far it could travel.

We expect to know more about the Ariya, including any production plans, for the all-electric crossover soon. Stay tuned.

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