In the snow-covered Hokkaido Proving Ground in Japan's northern island, the Ariya was driven by Nissan chief vehicle assessment specialists (CVAS), who also listened to and felt the performance of the car in a series of tests.
How did the testers find the Ariya so far? "What we've absolutely confirmed is the potential of this vehicle to meet its targets," said Division General Manager of Global Marketability Department at Nissan Craig Croot.
The company added that its Hokkaido Proving Ground is "the perfect setting to judge acceleration, ride handling, and quietness." The car was driven in real-world conditions such as winding roads, steep inclines, and various road surfaces.
"We have already achieved a level of comfort that surpasses that of our competitors and I expect that as we continue to fine tune the car," said Takahiro Nojiri, CVAS.
The Ariya's comfortable ride quality, Nissan said, will come from the car's battery pack that is placed as low in the car possible. Aside from comfort, a low center of gravity will also translate to better stability.
According to Nissan's spec sheet, there will be two variants of the Ariya (for the Japan market): two-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Both cars will share the same 63kWh and 87kWh batteries.
The front-driven Ariya with the 63kWh battery produces 214hp and 300Nm of torque, goes from zero to 100 kph in 7.5 seconds, and has an estimated range of 450 kilometers.
The same car with the bigger 87kWh unit has 240hp and 300Nm, clocks the zero to 100 in 7.6 seconds, and has a claimed range of 610 kilometers.
The respective figures from the AWD car are as follows: 335hp and 560Nm (63kWh), and 390hp and 600Nm (87kWh). Their ranges are rated at 430 and 580 kilometers, respectively.
The AWD is equipped with the e-4orce system. What it does is manage the car's power and braking, and traces the car's intended driving line on a variety of surfaces. This is without needing the driver to change driving style or input.
As with any current Nissan, the ProPilot 2.0 will also be found in this crossover. ProPilot 2.0 is an advanced driver assistance system, and will come with ProPilot Remote Park and the e-Pedal for one-pedal driving.
Aside from that, the Ariya has the Nissan Safety Shield system. It is a host of security features such as Intelligent Around View Monitor, Intelligent Forward Collision Warning, Intelligent Emergency Braking, and Rear Automatic Emergency Braking technology.
Nissan has hinted that it will conduct more testing. "We'll send the vehicle to the region (where the testing will be done) and then we'll (the testers) all go there to make that final validation"
Based on how much the Ariya is being tested at present, the car's appearance at the Auto Shanghai 2021 this month might be the last time it will grace an auto show.
Photo from Nissan