2021 Nissan Ariya EV debuts with up to 300 miles of range

Enough with the teasing. Nissan has finally unveiled the 2021 Ariya electric SUV. It's the start of Nissan's electrified assault following the success of its Leaf compact EV. But unlike the Leaf with its polarizing design, the Ariya is a two row, five-seat crossover with the looks to match. And according to Nissan, the Ariya is available with single or dual electric motors and is good for up to 300 miles of driving range.

Before Tesla began dominating the EV space, Japanese carmaker Nissan was among the first to release a mass-production EV. The first-gen Nissan Leaf went on sale in 2010, and it took Nissan a good 10 years to finally unveil its next electric offering. Evidently, the Ariya is Nissan's first major product following the scandalous arrest and Hollywood-themed escape of Carlos Ghosn, former chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

"Nissan was a pioneer in the world of mass-market electric vehicles a decade ago with LEAF, setting the standard for affordable, mass-market electric vehicles. We expect nothing less for the new Nissan Ariya," said Ashwani Gupta, Chief Operating Officer at Nissan.

The 2021 Nissan Ariya is a long-range EV, and there are two battery choices including a 63 kWh and 87 kWh unit. The Ariya is also available with single or dual electric motors. Nissan claims the long-range Ariya with 2WD is rated for up to 300 miles of range, although that number is yet to be verified by both the WLTP and EPA.

The Ariya with 2WD and a single motor produces 214 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque, while the dual-motor version is good for 389 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of twist. The latter is equipped with Nissan's e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive system and borrows some critical learnings from Nissan's internal combustion vehicles, namely the GT-R's ATTESSA E-TS torque split system and the Patrol's 4x4 hardware.

According to Nissan, e-4ORCE AWD directs a 50:50 torque split between the front and rear wheels in normal driving. When the going gets tough, the system can divert up to 100-percent of available torque to each axle. It also modulates individual braking at each wheel to maximize traction and grip. The Ariya is shorter than a Nissan Rogue, but is wider and has a longer wheelbase than the latter. This not only translates to sportier handling, but it also means a roomier cabin and up to 14.6 cubic feet of cargo room.

"While the driving exhilaration of its acceleration and torque levels is undeniable, the Ariya offers balanced, customer-centric technology that is perfect for everyday use," added Gupta.

Nissan failed to mention charging times, but the Ariya adapts to Level 2 charging of up to 7.2 kW and 130 kW of DC fast charging. The 2021 Nissan Ariya will first go on sale in Japan by mid-2021, while the U.S. and Canada will receive the first units later next year.

Pricing for the new Ariya EV starts at around $40,000. Standard features include Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, Amazon Alexa, and Nissan Safety Shield 360 with up to six active safety and driver-assist monitoring features.

The new Ariya is just the start of Nissan's EV assault. "The Ariya, a key model in Nissan's plan to roll out 10 new models in 20 months, demonstrates our commitment to meeting customer demand for crossovers with the most advanced electrified, automated, and connected technologies," said Gupta.

Nissan is also planning to introduce advanced driver assistance tech – namely Nissan's ProPilot 2.0 which offers hands-free driving assistance – in more than 20 models in 20 markets.

"The company expects sales of its EVs and e-POWER electrified models to be more than 1 million units a year by the end of fiscal 2023," concludes Gupta. "The Ariya will play a significant role in attaining that goal."

2021 Nissan Ariya Image Gallery