Update: ‘Reservations & Deliveries in the U.S.’ section updated with info on allocation.
Nissan Ariya deliveries were scheduled to begin in mid-2021, with Japan as the first market. However, due to component shortage, the first units arrived in the home market this year. Moreover, the company has pushed back customer deliveries of the Ariya in the United States to the final months of 2022.
Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming Nissan electric car.
The Nissan Ariya looks like no other Nissan model on the market, and that’s because it follows a new design theme – “Timeless Japanese Futurism.” The all-electric SUV-coupe exudes powerfulness with grace and simplicity, easily relatable to Japanese designs. A sleek silhouette and smooth, seamless surfaces make it look built to cut through the air with a breeze.
The Nissan Ariya has a chic design, but at the same time, it also has some attributes that portray dominance and sportiness. The thin LED headlamps built of four 20-mm mini-projectors, the giant “aerodynamic shield” in place of a traditional grille, and the drop-down LED DRLs let onlookers know exactly what’s coming their way. The new brand logo, positioned at the center of the aerodynamic shield, is illuminated, adding to the vehicle’s sci-fi first impression.
Black underbody cladding goes from the front all the way to the rear and complements the chunky alloy wheels in contributing to the classic SUV traits. At the rear, a steeply raked C-pillar merges flawlessly into the deck. That and the quickly sloping roofline are principal to the Nissan Ariya’s low-slung, sporty stance. The rear combination lamps had to have drama like the front lights, and the combined light blade with a blackened treatment ensures that.
The Nissan Ariya has its own identity and lays a foundation for future Nissans. The dedicated BEV platform has a flat floor, which means an uninterrupted and practical cabin that gives more legroom and easier interaction between the front- and rear-seat occupants. However, there are some raised sections in the middle, and those are because of the harness for some systems (like ProPILOT 2.0) that need to draw power from the sub-battery. Hikaru Nakajima, the chief vehicle engineer of the Nissan Ariya, revealed this in an interview with blog.evsmart.net in September 2020.
Nissan says that the interior is closer to a sleek cafe lounge on a starship than an ordinary vehicle cabin (no reason to argue on that!). The dashboard has been designed to look sleeker and seamlessly merge with the door panels. It aligns with the vehicle’s minimalist nature, perhaps in the highest degree of all parts, with almost no physical controls. The company has integrated the primary climate control functions into a wooden center dash – premium and close to nature – with capacitive haptic switches.
The steering wheel is a fancy two-spoke unit, underscoring the “less is more” philosophy. Two large displays – a fully digital instrument cluster and a touchscreen central display – are positioned upright to allow the driver to view information and easily access the infotainment system.
In the U.S., Nissan will offer the Ariya in Venture+, Evolve+, Premiere, and Platinum+ grades. ProPILOT Assist 2.0, wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, and Nissan Safety Shield 360 will be among the available features.
Range & Performance
Along with a striking exterior and an exceptionally minimalist interior, the Nissan Ariya rides on a brand new Alliance platform, the CMF-EV. Unlike the battery packs of the Nissan Leaf, the battery packs of the Nissan Ariya are liquid-cooled.
In the United States, Nissan estimates the Ariya to receive approximately 300 miles from the EPA. The peak power for DC fast charging is 130 kW, although the charging times aren’t out yet. As detailed in the table below, both 2WD and AWD configurations would be available to American buyers.
|Nissan Ariya U.S. Aspect||Specification|
|No. of Motors||One (FWD)/Two (AWD)|
|Power||238 hp (FWD)/389 hp (AWD)|
|Torque||221 lb.-ft. (FWD)/442 lb.-ft. (AWD)|
|Battery Pack Capacity||87 kWh|
|Range||Up to 300 miles (FWD)/265 miles (AWD)|
|Max. DC Charging Power||130 kW|
Release Date & Price
The component shortage has significantly affected the Ariya’s production schedule, which has impacted its delivery timeline, both at home and in the U.S.
Makoto Uchida, Director, Representative Executive Officer, President, and CEO, Nissan, confirmed during the fiscal year 2020 financial results announcement in May 2021 that the production of the Ariya will begin this year. “As we introduce the Nissan Intelligent Factory in Tochigi this year, we are going to start production of Ariya,” he said. The company had changed the SOP date because of the ongoing semiconductor shortage worldwide.
“We assume an impact of 500,000 units from the semiconductor shortage,” Uchida said later, during the analyst session for discussing the fiscal year 2020 financial results. “The magnitude of impact is largely due to the “double negative impact” of supply shortage, new product launch timing, and the fact that we have more models using more semiconductor,” he added.
During the FY2020 financial results announcement, Uchida revealed that there are around 200,000 hand-raisers for the Ariya globally. That’s double the figure when it announced Q3 FY2020 results on February 9, 2021. Customer interest should rise further as media reviews emerge and sales open later this year.
Showcased at American auto shows
The Nissan Ariya was showcased at the 2022 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) held between April 13-and 15, 2022. At the NYIAS, Yahoo Finance spoke to Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa who shared some insights on the EV. He stated that the Ariya is an excellent example of Japanese modernism and that every small item in the Ariya’s cabin was carefully curated.
Albaisa has been involved in multiple design projects with Nissan and Infiniti, having contributed to the Titan pickup and the GT-R sports car, among many other Nissan and Infiniti models. And yet, he says that the Ariya has been unique in his 34 years of experience thanks to its pure-electric underpinnings.
Since last year, Nissan has been conducting marketing activities for its VW ID.4 rival to incite consumer interest before the launch. It showcased the all-electric crossover at the 2021 Chicago Auto Show in July 2021, the 2021 LA Auto Show in November 2021, and the 2022 Chicago Auto Show in Feb 2022.
Reservations & Deliveries in the U.S.
Nissan has temporarily stopped taking orders for the Ariya in the U.S. because of limited supply from the Japanese factory, as per a report Automotive News published on May 29, 2022. Nissan COO Ashwani Gupta has said that “every customer wants to have it,” indicating there’s a strong demand. There’s no word on when order books will reopen.
A dealer source has told Automotive News that the company gave them a two-month window to order approximately 6,000 units it had allocated to the U.S. Prices of the Ariya in the U.S. start at USD 45,950 and go up to USD 58,950, as you can see in the table below:
|Ariya Venture+ FWD||87 kWh||238 hp/221 lb.-ft.||300 miles||USD 45,950|
|Ariya Evolve+ FWD||87 kWh||238 hp/221 lb.-ft.||285 miles||USD 48,950|
|Ariya Premiere FWD||87 kWh||238 hp/221 lb.-ft.||285 miles||USD 53,450|
|Ariya Platinum+ e-4ORCE AWD||87 kWh||389 hp/442 lb.-ft.||265 miles||USD 58,950|
Nissan plans to begin Ariya deliveries in the U.S. in fall 2022. The company will ship the Ariya FWD to dealerships first, and then the Ariya AWD in late fall of the same year.
Video Source: YouTube/EV Buyers Guide
The Nissan Ariya will go on sale when the demand for electric SUVs is witnessing a boom. Given its SUV body style, range, price, and high-end technologies, it should become Nissan’s best-selling electric car. Nissan sold less than 15,000 units of the Leaf in the USA in 2021, and it should see a much higher uptake for the Ariya in its first full year of sales.
Nissan Ariya undergoes safety tests in Japan
Recently, Nissan conducted a safety test for the Ariya at the brand’s technical center in Atsugi, Japan. All Nissan vehicles undergo impact tests from all sides and real-life scenarios like pedestrians crossing the road are simulated to test pedestrian safety systems. A Nissan official stated that more than 100 data points are evaluated on the Ariya, and the brand will conduct over 400 tests before the market launch. Nissan says that engineers have taken measures to ensure the battery’s structural integrity after a crash to avoid leakage of the electrodes.
Nissan U.S. electrification strategy
“I’m signing an executive order setting out a target of 50 percent of all passenger vehicles sold by 2030 will be electric,” U.S. President Joe Biden announced on the noon of August 5, 2021. The same day, Nissan announced that it plans to convert 40% of U.S. vehicle sales to pure electric models by 2030. The announcement followed the January 2021 statement that confirmed electrification of entire Nissan product lineups in key markets like Japan, China, the U.S., and European countries by the early 2030s. The Japanese automaker’s ultimate goal is to achieve carbon neutrality across operations and the life cycle of its products by 2050.
Nissan Ariya and Leaf to co-exist in the United States
The Ariya and the Nissan Leaf will co-exist in the brand’s American lineup. Aditya Jairaj, Director of EV marketing and sales strategy, Nissan U.S., quoted to Green Car Reports on January 13, 2022, that the Ariya was never meant to replace the Leaf. Both models have distinctive positioning.
The Ariya with the large 87 kWh battery starts at USD 45,950, while the future variant with the smaller 65 kWh model is expected to start at around USD 40,000 before the federal tax credit. The base variant of the 2023 Leaf (S Plus), meanwhile, is expected to start at around USD 28,000, while the 2023 Leaf SV Plus should come with a sticker price of around USD 34,000 (before federal tax credit), retaining its status as the cheapest electric car model in the United States.
For customers who can avail the USD 7,500 federal tax credit, the Ariya would cost USD 33,500, while its extended range version would retail at USD 38,450. With this, Nissan would have two affordable and premium electric car models, well under the USD 40,000 mark. With this aggressive pricing, the Ariya is likely to be a strong contender against the U.S.-made VW ID.4 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Nissan dealer margins may reduce in the U.S.
Research and development costs for new vehicles can be astronomical. Nissan seems to have spent a fortune on the Ariya and is now looking to offset the development costs by reducing dealer margins, according to an Automotive News report dated April 2, 2022. The report says that currently, Nissan dealers benefit from an 11% margin, which could come down to 8% so that the burden is not passed onto the customers.
An unimpressed Nissan dealer told Automotive News that long-term revenue for electric cars through service and parts is low, so the initial margin is crucial to profitability and long-term sustainability. EVs have fewer mechanical components compared to ICE-powered vehicles. Fewer parts require replacement compared to gas-propelled cars, which reduces service revenue. If dealer margin is reduced, it may cause disharmony between dealers and the manufacturer.
Dealers may even resort to markups to make up for the cost deficit, negatively impacting sales. A few weeks ago, there were reports of markups by Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis dealers, which resulted in a substantial increase in the OTR prices of HMG cars in the United States.
Nissan Ariya NISMO variant
Nissan Europe’s chairman Guillaume Cartier told Top Gear that the brand is looking at bringing the NISMO badge back under the spotlight, according to the publication’s May 4, 2022 report. The brand currently has the Ariya, Leaf and the upcoming Micra electric, which could wear the NISMO badge, but an official decision is awaited. An Ariya NISMO could be on the table, considering the growing demand for SUVs. Enthusiasts would love to bet on a performance-focused Ariya, and many customers would be seeking an alternative to the VW ID.5 GTX, Kia EV6 GT, Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, and the Skoda Enyaq Coupe RS iV.
What would an Ariya NISMO look like? Our illustration (unofficial render) above has been curated to shed light on what to expect. Our NISMO treatment includes aggressive bumpers, side body cladding in black and red, red brake calipers, 20-inch black alloy wheels and a fixed rear wing to give the SUV physics-defying performance. A lowered ride height and a sprinkling of red accents would seal the deal. As for the cabin, we’d expect bucket seats, red and black faux leather upholstery, metal-finish pedals, a G-force meter and a lap timer.
Powertrain-wise, Nissan may build on the Ariya e-4ORCE AWD version. Chassis upgrades, including stiffened suspension and recalibrated steering and brakes, would make the Nismo hard to resist. Nissan may also use learnings from motorsport and Formula E, especially to finetune the NISMO models.
Nissan Ariya FAQs
What is the Nissan Ariya release date?
Customer deliveries of the Nissan Ariya in the U.S. market will begin in fall 2022.
Which electric SUVs will the Nissan Ariya compete with?
What is the base Nissan Ariya price?
Prices of the Nissan Ariya in the USA start at USD 45,950.
Featured image: Nissan