Nissan has sold 430,000 examples of the all-electric Leaf since it introduced the model in 2010. The company has led the way in SUVs, too, with cars like the Qashqai and all-new Juke. But until now it hasn’t had an electric crossover – while others rush to produce exactly that. At Tokyo this year, Nissan wakes up to the fact in the shapely form of the Ariya. It is a concept but a “near-future” one destined for production when it will usher in what the company says will be “the dawn of a new era for Nissan”.
We’d better like the look, then. We do. There’s a new take on the family V-shield, so it won’t appear too much at odds with its Nissan crossover kin, while still managing the “electric car look”. The long-wheelbase, short-overhang proportions look right and the cabin is glassy and curvaceous with very raked back C-pillars. There’s a welcome simplicity to the surface treatments, too. Inside there’s a lounge-like layout with flat floor, minimalist control layout, premium design and materials, plus everything needed for an autonomous driving.
Nissan promises twin electric motors for all-wheel-drive and powerful acceleration, but so far no details of power or range. Given what Nissan has achieved with the latest electric Leaf they are surely coming at this from a position of strength.