The Tokyo Auto Salon, Japan’s equivalent to the U.S.’s SEMA show, has witnessed the unveiling of Nissan’s latest project, the Ariya NISMO. This new iteration of Nissan’s electric crossover, the Ariya, takes a significant leap from its standard version, stepping firmly into the realm of performance EVs.
Starting with the base dual-motor AWD Ariya e-4ORCE, Nissan has ramped up the Ariya NISMO with both visual and mechanical upgrades. The crossover now sports 20-inch aluminum wheels designed for rigidity and is fitted with specialized tires. Nissan hints at chassis improvements too, claiming enhanced handling and sharper turn-in, although specific details are sparse.
Beyond the handling tweaks, the Ariya NISMO also gets an aesthetic and aerodynamic makeover. Its ground effects kit and rear spoiler aren’t just for show; they’re engineered to reduce drag and increase downforce at high speeds, purportedly improving cornering performance.
Under the hood, the Ariya NISMO sees a 10% boost in power output compared to the standard model. It will be available in Japan in two versions: the NISMO B6 e-4ORCE with a 66 kWh battery offering 362 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, and the more robust NISMO B9 e-4ORCE, equipped with a 91 kWh battery, delivering 430 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque. While Nissan hasn’t released official performance figures, the upgrades suggest a noticeable improvement over the standard Ariya’s acceleration.
However, Nissan’s decision to keep the Ariya NISMO a Japan-only release may disappoint international EV enthusiasts. As per a statement to Motor 1, Nissan has no plans to expand its availability beyond the Japanese market. This decision may leave potential buyers elsewhere feeling left out, especially considering the Ariya NISMO’s potential to compete with other high-performance EV crossovers.
In conclusion, the Ariya NISMO represents a significant step up from the standard Ariya, particularly in terms of performance and handling. It’s a clear nod to Nissan’s focus on enhancing their EV lineup, but its Japan-only availability limits its impact on the global EV market. For now, it remains an exciting addition to Japan’s rich car culture, leaving the rest of the world watching and waiting.