Nissan WILL start production of its all-electric Ariya SUV in July, going by new information from a comparison of its concept and production vehicles issued by the Japanese company on Wednesday.
Nissan has been in the electric vehicle game for the past decade, and the Ariya will be its fourth electric vehicle joining the Leaf which was re-introduced to Australia in July 2019, the e-NV200 van and the all-electric Sylphy which it built for the Chinese market.
First unveiled as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2019, it has until now been understood that the Ariya, which will be released for a European market and is being eyed by Nissan’s Australian arm, would not be seen in its production form until 2021.
But the new information, which comes via a press release from Nissan comparing its concept vehicles to their eventual production form, suggests that Nissan could start making the Ariya as soon as next month.
A spokesperson for Nissan confirmed that this is indeed the case and an online launch of the Airiya will be also be livestreamed in July.
“Now, the world is looking for a leap forward. The Ariya Concept answered the call with its rethinking of the crossover segment from the ground up, including striking design features, interior amenities and space and sports-car-like performance,” writes Nissan in the press release, along with a production timeline stating July 2020.
Following on the success of Nissan’s Leaf, of which sales hit 450,000 in January, more details on the production Ariya have been keenly awaited.
How similar it would be to its concept form has as with any vehicle been a hot topic, and something Nissan has sought to answer in its recent release.
“Sometimes, the point of a concept car is just to explore a concept. It can showcase blue-sky thinking about a future world with technology that’s more science fiction than reality. Concepts can also give us a glimpse of design studies freed from real-world limitations, sparking a sense of wonder,” wrote Nissan.
But Nissan notes that is has developed a concept cars over the years that did make the jump from auto show eye candy to customers’ driveways; Leaf and now the Ariya as the electric examples of these.
Although Nissan is careful not to reveal too much about the upcoming Ariya in the release, sharing a blacked out image of the production Ariya, other recent images revealed in April may have given the game away.
We note it is more likely that the images that Car Secrets found are from an IP submission. While we did find an Argentinian IP relating to the name Ariya assigned to Nissan, we were unable to access the listing. A similar search on the European Union IP Office website also confirmed the name Ariya has been registered to Nissan but does not contain any images.
Nevertheless, the images – if legitimate – do suggest that the Ariya will bear a closer resemblance to its concept than the second generation Leaf does to the original IDS concept unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2015.
On the topic of the Leaf, here’s what Nissan had to say about its transformation from IDS to second-gen production vehicle (along with some comparison images):
“Some concept cars can foretell more than just looks. The Nissan IDS Concept promised a different vision of tomorrow, one where your electric car not only handles well but can also take over the car’s performance when selected, imitating the driver’s own driving style and preferences,” writes Nissan, noting the focus on the introduction of its ProPILOT technologies.
“When the new Nissan Leaf debuted two years later, it ushered in a new driving experience with its ProPILOT and e-Pedal technologies, new styling inside and out, more personalization features to tailor the EV experience for each driver, and enhanced connectivity.
“The award-winning ProPILOT system helps drivers control the distance to vehicles ahead and keep the car centered in its lane, and can help activate braking when necessary. e-Pedal allows the driver to control acceleration and deceleration with just the accelerator pedal, making driving less stressful.”
Update: This article has been updated to convey a confirmation from Nissan that production for the Ariya will start in July/
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.