The Nissan Ariya is expected to first launch in Japan in the middle of 2021 and hit the Chinese market in the same year. Credit: Courtesy Nissan.

Japanese carmaker Nissan unveiled its all-electric crossover Ariya online last week, saying the model will play an important role in its business turnaround plan and electrification development, China Daily reported.

Featuring Nissan’s latest self-driving technologies, the Ariya has a driving range of up to 610 kilometers and sells from around 5 million yen (US$47,000) in Japan. The Ariya is also the first vehicle to sport Nissan’s revamped logo.

“Ariya opens a new chapter in our history starting our journey of transformation in our business, in our products and in our culture,” said Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida at the online event.

The model is expected to first launch in Japan in the middle of 2021 and hit the Chinese market in the same year, China Daily reported.

A centrepiece of the Ariya’s drivetrain technology is that all-wheel drive system, dubbed e-4ORCE.

The system is designed to apply independent brake control at each of the four wheels to maximize the cornering force generated by each one, in addition to optimizing front and rear torque allocation. 

The carmaker said it plans to launch 12 models across various markets in the next 18 months. It will introduce more than 20 models featuring driving assistant systems in 20 markets, with sales targets exceeding 1.5 million units.

In May, Nissan was tasked with growing its share in core markets, including China, to help boost the development of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, China Daily reported.

Nissan said it aims to achieve a 5% operating profit margin and a 6% global market share by the end of 2023’s fiscal year.

This includes “proportionate contributions” from its joint venture in China, China Daily reported. In 2019, it sold 1.55 million vehicles in the country, a similar figure for 2018, despite the fall in China’s overall car market.

According to CNN Business, the Ariya is bigger and roomier than the Leaf, a compact car, and has a design somewhat like Nissan’s Murano SUV.

The most noticeable difference is the front “grille” design. Electric cars don’t require nearly as much incoming air as gasoline-powered car, so the front grille is purely a design feature.

The Ariya’s grille has a large sunken area with a subtle pattern that’s supposed to resemble a traditional Japanese kumiko design, CNN reported. It also has a slightly redesigned Nissan logo that lights up.

The Ariya’s large flat battery pack is mounted under the SUV’s floor, which allows the vehicle to have a completely flat floor, an arrangement also found in a number of other electric models including the Tesla Model Y.

The Ariya will be available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive configurations, and will come with two battery choices: a standard 65 kWh with an output of 160 kW (215 horsepower), torque of 221 lbs.-ft; and a long range 90 kWh pack with output of 290 kW (389 hp), torque of 443 lbs.-ft.

The Ariya will be able to go from a stop to 60 miles an hour in about 5 seconds, Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta said in an online meeting with journalists. That performance is similar to Nissan’s 370Z sports car.

A centrepiece of the Ariya’s drivetrain technology is that all-wheel drive system, dubbed e-4ORCE. Courtesy: Nissan.

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