Concept Cars

New Nissan concept reveals future Rogue, Murano design, EV plans

Nissan has revealed its Ariya Concept, signaling an evolution in the company's design language.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

It's called the Ariya Concept. The electrified SUV with twin electric motors and driver assistance technology doesn't break the Nissan mold. It evolves it.

Appearing first at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan's Ariya Concept furthers the design language first shown in the IMx concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Its expressive and electrified V-motion signature front shield (where a grille would typically be), angular rear light blades, short overhangs, a fastback-style roofline, and a supple interior were hallmarks then and continue into this new vehicle. It also has wide front fenders, rear fender flares, a high-mounted rear wing, and super-thin LED headlights. The body's paint job is called Suisei Blue.

Nissan Ariya Concept wheel copper Nissan is infused copper design elements throughout the vehicle and says that the color will become a hallmark for the company in the coming years.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

"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 rides on 21-inch aluminum wheels with custom tires. Its wheels and roofline are painted a copper color, which Nissan says will be a signature color in the company's lineup in the future.

"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 ... 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.'"

Nissan Ariya Concept inteiror cabin The interior of the Nissan Ariya Concept features minimalist design.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Concept is based on new vehicle architecture, which is EV-ready, something that other automakers, like Volvo, have already switched to and implemented in their lineup.

Nissan's new concept car has the futurist hallmarks most brands are flaunting these days. Its minimalist dashboard shuns buttons for haptic touch functionality. Its only physical controls are a start button, a single knob ghat operates the 12.3-inch display monitor, and climate controls.Super thin seats are designed to help create a feeling of spaciousness throughout the cabin while the flat load floor (possible because of the lack of exhaust system and other traditional powertrain components), leather upholstery, copper fabric, and aluminum and real wood accents.

Guiding the car's design is Nissan's commitment to safety technology. It features ProPILOT 2.0, the next-generation of Nissan's driver assistance and safety technologies. It works by, "engaging the vehicle's navigation system to help maneuver the car on a predefined route on designated roads, the system can assist the driver with passing, lane diversions and lane exiting on multi-lane highways."

Nissan Ariya Concept The Ariya Concept is an electric vehicle.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The system allows for hands-off driving while cursing in a given lane. This is different than autonomous technology, which is traditionally defined as allowing a camera and sensor system to drive a vehicle for its passengers. ProPILOT 2.0 can give a driver audio and visual guidance, and prompts them when they need to put their hands back on the steering wheel.

The car's electric drive system features a dual front/rear motor drive configuration with power to all four wheels. Nissan developed the all-wheel drive system using years of research from other vehicles, including the Nissan GT-R and Patrol. It uses CHAdeMO quick charging technology on the go and supports Nissan Energy technology at home, which uses the vehicle's battery as a backup to the home's power system in the event of an emergency.

Nissan has employed smartphone data transfer, remote preference honing, parking locator, and phone as key technology in the concept.

All of these enhancements give key clues to what buyers will be able to expect from Nissan's coming SUV design. With a new Nissan Rogue, Rogue Sport, and Murano on the horizon in the coming years, we're likely to see many of these technologies in the vehicle. Also, it's probable that Nissan's fresh design language will be translated to the new model, so expect to see thin LED headlamps, a more coupe-like rear, and a larger grille.

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The QX60 is all-new for 2022.

Infiniti

Infiniti has released detailed specs and features for its all-new QX60 SUV. The upscale family hauler will land later this year with a reasonable starting price, updated tech, a nicely appointed cabin, and plenty more. The automaker offers its new SUV in four trims, each of which is available with all-wheel drive: Pure, Luxe, Sensory, and Autograph.

The QX60 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available, and all models get a new nine-speed automatic transmission. Infiniti says that the gearbox has a low first gear that helps deliver better acceleration and power off the line, and taller upper gears for smoother cruising on the highway. The revised all-wheel drive system is more responsive and engages more quickly than the system in the previous model.


2022 Infiniti QX60 The QX60 gets leather and several luxury features as standard kit. Infiniti


An upgraded interior is in the cards for the new QX60, as all models now get leather, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel as standard equipment. Front passengers' backsides are treated to Infiniti's excellent zero-gravity seats and a stiffer second-row seat frame reduces vibration and noise in the cabin. Infiniti says that the cabin itself has more sound-deadening materials and thicker glass in the second row, which together yield a 7 percent improvement in noise on the highway.


2022 Infiniti QX60 A digital gauge cluster comes on all but the base model.Infiniti


A 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Six USB ports, nine speakers, HD Radio Bluetooth, voice commands, and SiriusXM radio are also standard. All but the base Pure trim level come with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and the top Autograph model gets a 10.8-inch full-color head-up display and a smart rearview mirror.

The new QX60 goes on sale this fall in the U.S. and Canada. Pricing starts at $47,875 for the base Pure model and tops out at $64,275 for the top Autograph AWD trim.

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Initial quality study

Nissan Maxima earns top spot in J.D. Power study

The Maxima earned the best model score in J.D. Power's 2021 quality study.

Nissan

J.D. Power has released the results of its 2021 Initial Quality Study (IQS), and found that the Nissan Maxima achieved the highest score of any single model. The car earned a score of just 85 problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) and Nissan performed well overall in the study. The Maxima entered its sixth generation in 2016 and has remained on sale relatively unchanged since, though Nissan has updated the car with new tech and safety equipment over the years.

Nissan's scores landed it at fourth among mass market brands. The Altima, Maxima, and Murano took the top spots in their respective segments as well. The automaker also took home a top score for its Smyrna Assembly facility in Tennessee, which houses production for the Murano SUV. The six-million square-foot plant earned a gold award for producing vehicles with the fewest defects in the Americas.


2021 Nissan Maxima Infotainment was cited a a major problem area for new car owners.Nissan


Nissan's results are impressive, but Ram has an even bigger reason to celebrate. With a score of 128 PP100, the automaker was the highest-ranking brand in overall quality for the first time ever. Sister company Dodge earned the number-two spot with 139 PP100. Lexus tied with Mitsubishi at number three with a score of 144 PP100, which also made Lexus the highest-ranking premium brand.

J.D. Power surveyed over 110,000 purchasers and lessees of new vehicles for the 2021 study. Owners were asked 223 questions across nine categories on vehicle features, infotainment, seats, and others. On average, scores for the industry as a whole improve by about 3 percent each year, but progress slowed in 2021 to 2 percent. J.D. Power says that infotainment issues were the primary cause of slowing quality improvement levels.


2021 Nissan Maxima Three other Nissan models scored well in the study.Nissan

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