At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan has unveiled the Ariya Concept, a crossover EV with twin electric motors, that takes inspiration from the IMx Concept of 2017’s Tokyo Motor Show with some bold new elements.
Although it’s a concept vehicle, the crossover EV’s bold styling and unconventional interior and exterior elements could make it into production in the near future.
Characterized by the concepts “sleek,” “seamless” and “sexy,” the Nissan Ariya Concept features examples of this new design language throughout the exterior, including wide front fenders, super-thin LED headlights, as well as the front shield (typically a grille on a gasoline-powered vehicle) which is emblazoned with a bespoke, illuminated Nissan emblem. The shield incorporates a subtle geometric pattern that reveals itself when the electrified V-motion signature is illuminated.
Highlighting the vehicle’s profile are five-blade, 21-inch aluminum wheels with custom tires. A low, sleek roofline allows the vehicle to slice through the air. The styling of the Ariya Concept’s rear is also a departure from traditional SUVs, with a steeply raked C-pillar that blends seamlessly into a muscular rear deck. A one-piece light blade with blacked-out lenses runs across the width of the body. Rear fender flares and a high-mounted rear wing offer not-so-subtle suggestions of the vehicle’s power.
The Ariya Concept’s Suisei Blue paint scheme creates a dual appearance, depending on the distance viewed. From afar, the deep blue color takes on a matte-like finish. Upon closer inspection, large embedded glass flakes produce billions of light refractions, reminiscent of a comet crossing the night sky.
Accenting the Ariya Concept’s roofline and wheels is a new signature color for future Nissan EVs: copper, the color of the sun as it breaks through the night to start a new day. It symbolizes the dawn of a new automotive era while also giving a nod to traditional Japanese artisans who formed copper into works of functional art.
While the Ariya Concept’s exterior mainly expresses the ideas of “sleek” and “sexy,” the interior reflects a notion of seamlessness – represented by the integration of technology with daily life and the precise nature of Japanese craftsmanship.
The minimalist dashboard is uncluttered by the buttons and switches found in conventional vehicles. When the Ariya Concept is energized, seamlessly integrated haptic touch controls along the instrument panel come to life with a glow. When the car is not in use, they disappear into the surface. The only physical controls are the start button, a single knob to operate the 12.3-inch display monitor, and the climate controls, which are artfully ingrained into the instrument panel’s genuine-wood lower section. The instrument panel transitions flawlessly into the doors and interior elements, to be out of sight when not in use.
The Ariya Concept’s supportive, comfortable seats feature a super-thin frame, providing even more free interior space and enhanced visibility. The front and rear seats are positioned to ensure that everyone has a great view of the surroundings and offer a sensation reminiscent of floating on a magic carpet. To make long drives more comfortable, the seat back and seat bottoms feature perforated leather upholstery, with material concentration where the occupant’s lower back and hip touch. A brilliant copper fabric under the perforation adds beauty and depth.
Throughout the cabin, interior materials were carefully selected to give an impression of solidness, technology, and utility. Fine black synthetic leather covers the instrument panel and inner door panels. A different grade of synthetic leather with a textured grain lines the A-pillar and ceiling. This provides a subtle yet effective visual contrast. Satin copper-colored aluminum accents, incorporated into the instrument panel, seats and steering wheel, exude a sense of unity with the exterior color.