Nissan Ariya Concept: Shape of Things to Come

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
nissan ariya concept shape of things to come

Mazda wasn’t the only Japanese automaker to lift the sheet on an electric crossover at the Tokyo Motor Show today. Nissan got in on the game, revealing a crossover “concept” that looks ripe for the production line.

As opposed to past concepts like the IMk and IMx, this Nissan has a name — Ariya, which one assumes is pronounced “area.” The compact EV crossover also dispenses with the usual gee-whiz concept car trappings, looking very much like a vehicle bound for showrooms. Nissan leaves no doubt that the Ariya, or something almost identical to it, could soon become a reality.

“Although it’s a concept vehicle, the crossover EV’s bold styling and unconventional interior and exterior elements could make it into production in the near future,” the automaker stated.

Sporting two electric motors of unspecified output and a dedicated EV platform, the Ariya boasts a coupe-like roofline and sharply raked rear glass. Its design falls under the banner of what Nissan dubs “Timeless Japanese Futurism,” with smoother flanks and sharp creases only at the beltline and where the sides transition to a scalloped, aerodynamic rear. Corey will be excited to use the word “heckblende” when describing the full-width taillamps. (This writer would rather commit seppuku than use the term.)

Filling each wheel well are 21-inch hoops; big, but within the realm of possibility, unlike other concepts. Up front, the automaker endowed the vehicle with what appears to be a grille, but is actually a sensor-embedded “shield.” It’s better than bare real estate.

Elsewhere, copper-colored accents spring up in the wheels and the division between roof and bodyside. “It symbolizes the dawn of a new automotive era while also giving a nod to traditional Japanese artisans who formed copper into works of functional art,” Nissan stated, despite the fact that the golden metal is just as often associated with electricity as it is the rising sun.

The cabin of the vehicle is a minimalist affair, as the future is all about being inside one’s mind, we suppose. Haptic touch controls and an absence of protruding knobs and buttons are on offer, just like in a sci-fi movie (or a first-gen Chevy Volt). Actually, there is one knob for the 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and climate controls will require physical articulation of movable objects.

Beneath the Ariya’s floor lurks a battery pack of unknown proportions. Nissan hasn’t talked up battery size or projected range, though it did confirm to Roadshow that buyers of vehicles built on this architecture can expect a range of battery sizes, as well as a single-motor, two-wheel drive option. Being a value brand, it would be weird for Nissan to not offer a lower-end configuration.

Will the Ariya or something like it make it stateside? No one’s saying, though the fully-baked concept’s name has been trademarked in the U.S.

[Images: Nissan]

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  • Johnds Years ago I pulled over a vehicle from either Manitoba or Ontario in North Dakota for speeding. The license plates and drivers license did not come up on my dispatchers computer. The only option was to call their government. Being that it was 2 am, that wasn’t possible so they were given a warning.
  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.