Nissan Intelligent Mobility – a new design language
The Ariya Concept represents an entirely new design direction for Nissan.
“A new vehicle architecture means fresh opportunities to redefine how vehicles interact with society, how an EV paired with advanced driving capabilities can offer a new perspective,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s senior vice president of global design.
“With this vehicle and the IMk concept, we wanted to ensure that the soul of every Nissan car possess a distinctive Japanese DNA conveyed in a simple-yet-powerfully modern way, something we call ‘Timeless Japanese Futurism.’”
Characterised 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.
“We replaced the conventional grille with what we call a ‘shield’ – an expressive piece with innovative 3-D texture within that goes beyond cosmetics, but also as a way to highlight the technology lurking within the vehicle,” said Albaisa.
“In this case, it’s a radar sensor and other technologies that help the Ariya Concept read the road and visualise things the driver can’t see.”
Highlighting the vehicle’s profile are five-blade, 21-inch aluminum wheels with custom tyres. 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 exterior strikes a balance between dynamic beauty and ‘tech sharpness,’ with proportions that show what’s possible with Nissan’s 100% electric vehicle platform,” Albaisa said.
“The surprisingly short overhangs, large cabin, large wheels and tailored two-tone paint scheme provide an elegant appearance that balances sport and luxury.”
The Ariya Concept’s Suisei Blue paint scheme creates a dual appearance, depending on the distance viewed. From afar, the deep blue colour 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 colour for future Nissan EVs: copper, the colour of the sun as it breaks through the night to start a new day. It symbolises 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.
“With a flat floor – made possible by the battery pack layout and absence of an internal combustion engine– the Ariya Concept welcomes occupants as they step in the cabin with a feeling of expansion and openness,” said Albaisa.
“Panels blend naturally into each other and flow seamlessly from the front, sides and rear, giving a panoramic impression from any seat position.”
The minimalist dashboard is uncluttered by the buttons and switches found in conventional vehicles.
When the Ariya Concept is energised, 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.