Driving past a backdrop of cherry blossoms into a digital future, the new Nissan Ariya – the Japanese car maker’s first electric crossover – glided onto a stage in Tokyo before an online global audience on Wednesday.
First revealed as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019, the Nissan Ariya doesn’t disappoint. It’s so similar to its concept version, visually, that it almost seems as if we’ve driven it before, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Priced in Japan from around 5 million yen ($A66,581 converted, Nissan will start production of the Ariya this year, and given it is Nissan’s first new all-electric model aimed at the consumer market since the Leaf was launched a decade ago, it won’t be a moment too soon.
The Ariya is a car that “enriches your life and enriches society,” and that is “resilient, inclusive and seamless,” said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida at the event.
Available in a rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with acceleration from 0-100km/hr in 5.1 seconds – on par with Nissan’s 370Z sports car – it is a step above Nissan’s popular but conservative Leaf.
But it is the battery options – and in turn, the car’s range – that have us excited.
Along with a choice of drivetrains, the Ariya will be offered with two battery sizes – a 63kWh (usable capacity) battery which will deliver 160kW power and 300Nm torque for 450km driving for the two-wheel drive model (all based on Japan’s WLTC cycle), and 250kW output for 560Nm torque, offering up to 430km driving range for the 4WD option.
That’s already a good 140km or so more driving range than the 40kWh Leaf (the only option currently available to buy new in Australia).
But it gets better. Choose the 87kWh (usable capacity) battery option and two-wheel drive models promise to deliver up to 610km driving range with 178kW/300Nm, or 580km driving range with 290kW/600Nm for the dual motor option.
It’s a level up in terms of range, and if Nissan can see its way to making the larger battery option available here (Nissan Australia says it is definitely putting a word in for local availability), it will mean it will be the only electric SUV on the Australian market with a longer driving range than the Tesla Model X, and the only other electric SUV-style vehicle with a driving range in excess of 500km.
To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, click here…