It's sleek, slick, and likely coming to the US.
Nissan had a relatively successful electric vehicle in the form of the subcompact Leaf. Now, the Japanese automaker is getting ready for round two as it "embarks to redefine its brand philosophy for the next evolutionary phase of the automobile."
That embarkation starts with the Ariya SUV concept that Nissan has just unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The concept looks small but in reality, it's a little longer than the Murano and a little shorter than the Rogue. It's also a handsome devil, and an evolution of the design language Nissan calls "Timeless Japanese Futurism."
Nissan claims the Ariya Concept represents an entirely new design direction for Nissan. That can be seen in a much leaner design with smooth lines,a clear departure from the angles and creases we see in current Nissan production vehicles. It also looks close to being ready for production as we're seeing real door handles and mirrors as well as realistically sized wheels and overall proportions that will suit actual people using it. In fact, we think Nissan is being coy when it says that the Ariya concept "could make it into production in the not-too-distant future.
Along with the telltale signs, it's worth remembering the Ariya is based upon the futuristic IMx Concept from 2017. Nissan has a habit of denoting futuristic concepts with the IM initials, and when it's getting ready to push a car towards production, it gets a name. There's also reports that Nissan has trademarked the Ariya name here in the US.
On top of all that, Nissan says it's riding on a new dedicated electric platform with dual electric motors, one front and back, and a has a floor-mounted battery pack.
Inside, the Ariya also looks like it's not far from production. Two large display screens dominate the dashboard along with touch-sensitive controls, while the center console houses an electronic shifter and more haptic touch controls. Things may look a little far fetched for a production model, but it's far from being too future-looking. It likely won't need many changes for the Ariya to become a reality. Features like over-the-air firmware updates or seamlessly sending a destination from a smartphone to the car's navigation system are hardly the stuff of science fiction anymore. Likewise, a system that automatically identifies and plots charging stops along the way.