By on October 23, 2019


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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9 Comments on “Nissan Ariya Concept: Shape of Things to Come...”

  • avatar

    Lightly disguised next gen rogue, it was at the Nissan dealer show.

  • avatar

    “At a dealer meeting last month, Nissan gave its U.S. retailers their first look at the EV, which is being developed on a new platform.

    According to dealers who saw the vehicle, the five-seater has a 300-mile range and can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds.”

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    Looks pretty good from the back but not from the front. I think I’d rather have the V motion grill. Other than that, this looks super clean. It would be interesting to see if that interior makes the final cut.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Green Car Reports says that this vehicle uses a CHAdeMO charging protocol. I hope Nissan isn’t really that stupid; CHAdeMO has lost the war to CCS in the US, but I guess not in Japan.

    BTW, “Timeless Japanese Futurism” reminds me of another nationalistic phrase I despise: “German Engineering”, which may have been retired after the VAG diesel mess.

    • 0 avatar

      No CCS would be a deal killer for me. CCS has won the battle here and in Europe. Even Tesla has CCS in Europe. It’ll be interesting to see which way Toyota goes. They say they’ll be unveiling their solid-state battery car in the Olympics opening ceremony (but aren’t saying when mass-production will happen) so they’ll probably build out a charging network to go along with it. If it’s CCS in the US, CHAdeMO will be pretty scarce. Mazda will be offering CCS or CHAdeMO depending on the market and I’d expect Toyota to do the same.

    • 0 avatar

      “German engineering” is another word for fragile and unreliable. Well cheating too obviously considering VW. With all that engineering they could not come up with iPhone. Why?

  • avatar


  • avatar

    So a “coupe-like roofline and sharply raked rear glass” yet nearly as boxy in the front as a 200 series Volvo? Almost as if the stylists were playing Mad Libs with design elements.

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