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(Pocket-lint) - When are you going to launch an electric Qashqai? That's was probably the question most frequently asked of Nissan over the past few years. Having had the Nissan Leaf on the road since 2010 - one of the top selling electric cars - it's always been strange that Nissan hadn't moved to occupy this crossover space when it has one of the biggest selling crossovers too. 

That's now changed with the launch of the Nissan Ariya. The concept - first announced at the Tokyo Motor Show - was between Qashqai and X-Trail size, and now this model, due on the roads in 2021, has been fully revealed.

Close to the concept

The Nissan Ariya has stuck close to the concept in terms of design, with futuristic looks. There's a hint of the Nissan Leaf around some of the design, especially as this is a coupé style crossover - so it's got a "fastback", rather like the Audi Q4 Sportback. That gives a sleek profile, with that dropping roofline. 

What's more distinctive is the broad lightbar across the rear of the car and the new nose, which makes a big departure from Nissan's existing cars. There's still the hint of the same V shape, but this is fully enclosed and a lot sleeker than other Nissan cars. 

The luggage capacity comes in at about 460 litres for the 2WD version, while the 4WD version drops a little to around 415 litres (it also varies whether you have a left- or right-hand drive model).

The interior has been designed around more of a lounge concept, taking advantage of the flat floor to create a spacious cabin; Nissan says that all the air conditioning components have been moved under the bonnet so they don't occupy interior space, while the centre console can be moved to suit the driver's preference.

There are two 12.3-inch displays in the interior for driver information and acting as a centre console. Buttons have been removed to be replaced by haptic touch controls, while there's a new voice assistant triggered by saying "Hey Nissan", where you'll be able to get details about your charge level, or change the cabin temperature.

Nissan Ariya battery and range specs

There will be five versions of the Ariya launching in Europe, spanning two different battery capacities, 2WD or 4WD as well as a final Performance model. The two battery capacities are 65kWh and 90kWh, but Nissan cites a usuable 63kWh and 87kWh. The all-wheel drive options have a dual motor arrangement with Nissan's e-4ORCE traction control technology.

Here's how the models break down:

  • 2WD 63kWh battery, 160kW, 223 miles
  • 2WD 87kWh battery, 178kW, 310 miles
  • 4WD 63kWh battery, 205kW, 211 miles
  • 4WD 87kWh battery, 225kW, 285 miles
  • Performance 4WD 87kWh battery, 290kW, 284 miles

All the mileage figures are from Nissan and on the WLTP cycle, with the 2WD 87kWh model getting the longest range at 310 miles. All models in Europe will support CCS, so you'll be able to use it widely with fast public chargers and it will support charging at 130kW. That's not quite the fastest, but it's pretty fast. 

The 2WD models will support 7.4kW AC charging, but the 4WD models will have additional support for three-phase 22kW AC charging.

Nissan Ariya performance specs

The accelleration is naturally much faster on the AWD models, with the Performance offering 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds, which is pretty rapid for an SUV. The top speed on the 2WD models is limited to 99mph, and 124mph on the 4WD models. Again, here's how the models break down in terms of performance:

  • 2WD 63kWh battery, 0-62mph 7.5s, 99mph top speed
  • 2WD 87kWh battery, 0-62mph 7.6s, 99mph top speed
  • 4WD 63kWh battery, 0-62mph 5.9s, 124mph top speed
  • 4WD 87kWh battery, 0-62mph 5.7s, 124mph top speed
  • Performance 4WD 87kWh battery, 0-62mph 5.1s, 124mph top speed

There's also a marked increase in torque as you move up through the increased power output, from 300Nm on the entry model up to 600Nm on the Performance. Naturally, the increased weight of the all-wheel drive system has an impact on the range, so opting for the most powerful Ariya doesn't get you the longest range.

All will offer Nissan's e-Pedal, for single pedal driving, while regeneration will be possible from both front and rear wheels on the all-wheel drive models, which Nissan says will give a super-smooth experience. You'll get Standard, Sport and Eco driving models, while the e-4ORCE 4WD models will get an additional Snow mode.

The Nissan Ariya will also feature ProPilot 2.0, which can use local mapping information to adjust you speed to stick to limits, as well as brake the car to ensure smoother cornering on tighter bends. 

Nissan Ariya pricing and availability

The Nissan Ariya will be available in Japan from mid-2021 ¥5 million, which is about £40,000. It will be available the US, China and Europe from the end of 2021.

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We'll update with more specifics on pricing and availabiliy when they become publically known.

Writing by Chris Hall.