Such a Tease

Nissan Ariya electric SUV teased ahead of July 15 reveal

The Nissan Ariya electric SUV is a long time coming.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's new battery-powered crossover is nearly ready to shed it's cover. The 2021 Nissan Ariya will debut on July 15. Ahead of its debut, the company has revealed a teaser website, complete with imagery of the vehicle.

But, we already know pretty much what it will look like. The Nissan Ariya Concept from last year was a model that required moderate amounts of exterior refinement to get to product form. Then, earlier this year, Nissan gave a further peek in a video showcasing the 12 models they plan to debut in the next 18 months. When the redesigned 2021 Nissan Rogue premiered a few weeks ago, it showed similar lines to the Ariya.

The 2021 Ariya's narrow LED headlights, illuminated LED V-motion grille, and strong, tall stance are immediately visible in the teaser image. When you turn the brightness up on the image, you get a better idea of the shape of the vehicle (and you get to see some stars that Nissan put in the background because they knew we would look).

2021 Nissan Ariya Brightening the picture of the Ariya on the website reveals additional details.Photo courtesy of Nissan Motors

But, it may not actually be a grille. Electric vehicles don't have the type of cooling requirements as those with internal combustion engines. Instead, the model may have a sensor shield.

We also know that the SUV will likely have Nissan's e-4orce all-wheel drive system.

In the brightened image the fog light housings are shown flanking the SUV's deep grille. There are slightly flared fenders that draw the eye backward. It looks like the side mirror caps are a different color than the body of the model.

While the underpinnings cannot be seen in the photo, it's been promised that the model is to be performance-focused. That's a rather big deal for a company whose powertrains aren't exactly known for knocking socks off.

Nissan has already told us to not expect to see a tablet-style infotainment system in its future models so look for the Ariya to follow suit.

Range, battery size, motors, and vehicle weight will all be announced soon, as will the delivery timetable. Expect the Ariya to go up against the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E when it arrives on dealership lots. In addition to the inevitable questions about range, the Ariya will need to compete against the Mustang Mach-E and Tesla's lineup when it comes to driver assist technology to have a chance at being top of the heap.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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The Nissan Z Proto is the next step in the Z story.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Z Proto has arrived. It's not a production car, it's a promise. A promise by Nissan to launch a new generation of the legendary Z sports car. The model has design elements that harken back to to the Z models of yesteryear that have become iconic waypoints in Nissan history.

Nissan has revealed that the Z Proto is one of the 10 models that the company will be showing for the U.S. in 20 months. The timeline has been adjusted from the original due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other models included as part of the plan are the 2020 Nissan Sentra, 2021 Nissan Rogue, and 2022 Nissan Ariya.

Nissan Z Proto

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

"The United States is home to one of the most devoted and enthusiastic Z communities in the world, with nearly 1.35 million total sales over the model's 50-year history," said Mike Colleran, senior vice president, Nissan U.S. Marketing and Sales. "With new models like Sentra and Rogue opening new eyes to our brand, Z Proto is our loudest statement yet that Nissan will continue to bring vehicles that thrill to U.S. showrooms."

The Z Proto is bathed inn a bright yellow pearlescent paint job - one that is reminiscent of the yellow of the first-generation 240Z and the 300ZX.

At its front are teardrop-shaped LED headlights that have their design roots in the original Z. The Z Proto's rectangular grille is more modern but the design of the grille fins are vintage in origin.

"The LED headlights have two half-circles that hark back to the Japan market-only 240ZG of the 70s," said Alfonso Albaisa, head of design at Nissan. "The ZG has clear dome lenses over the headlight buckets, which under light give off two circular reflections over each headlight. We liked that unique characteristic and discovered that it naturally fit with the Z's identity."

Nissan Z Proto

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

From the side, the Z Proto has a roofline that flows backward like the first-gen Z. It leads to the rear, which takes inspiration from the 300ZX taillights and reinterprets them for a modern world, complete with LED lights. They're set within a rectangular black section that spans the rear of the car and wraps around each outer edge. Below is a dual exhaust.

Side skirts, the front lower lip, and rear valance are made of carbon fiber. The prototype rides on 19-inch alloy wheels. The 2020 370Z also has 19-inch wheels.

The vintage-meets-modern elements continue in the car's cabin where design was focused on achieving a proper balance for road and track. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital display that is arranged to allow to easy data interpretation at speed.

Designed to fit driver and passenger like a glove, the Z Proto's cabin seamlessly blends modern technology with vintage Z touches. A deep dish steering wheel combines modern aesthetics with vintage styling.

Under the prototype's hood is a twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Nissan says that an automatic transmission option is in development. Horsepower and torque figures were not immediately available.

In looking toward the future, Nissan relays, "work is now underway to synchronize the power with the grace and control that has defined the Z for the past 50 years." The current Z has a 3.7-liter V6 engine that achieves 332 horsepower. It comes paired with a standard six-speed manual or available seven-speed automatic transmission.

Compared to the current Z, the Z Proto is five inches longer and two-tenths of an inch wider. The 2020 Nissan 370Z is two-tenths of an inch taller than the Z Proto.

Where do we go from there? Stay tuned.

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