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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This autumn, Nissan celebrates the 40th Anniversary of its Maxima flagship sedan with a milestone-marking model. The 2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition joins the company's stable and builds on the Maxima Platinum grade.

The Maxima is the longest continuous running Nissan nameplate in the U.S. It made its debut on American shores in 1981 as the 1982 Datsun Maxima, replacing the Datsun 810. The original Maxima had the engine of the 240Z and a 5-speed manual transmission.

2021 Nissan Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Datsun brand's presence in North America was phased out just a few years later and for the 1985 model year, the Nissan Maxima emerged also sporting a new V6 engine and front-wheel drive. The 1988 model was the last to be offered in a wagon body style.

The third-generation Maxima was launched in 1989 with a 3.0-liter V6 that achieved 160 horsepower helping it keep up with the German cars of its time. By 1995 the model got larger and had a new engine, which resulted in a power boost.

Nissan's large car is now in its eighth generation. It debuted in 2016 sporting Nissan's fashionable V-motion grilled and a more aggressive design complete with a floating roof. The car received styling and safety updates for the 2020 model year.

A new Maxima 40th Anniversary Edition includes a unique two-tone Ruby Slate Gray Pearl exterior paint job with black roof, exclusive 19-inch gloss black aluminum-alloy wheels, black exterior finishers and trim badges, a 40th Anniversary badge, black exhaust finishers, red semi-aniline leather-appointed seating with 40th Anniversary embossing, red contrast interior stitching, Satin Dark Chrome interior faceted finishers, white speedometer and tachometer faces reminiscent of past Maxima models, and heated rear seats.

In addition to the 40th Anniversary Edition, the 2021 Maxima will be offered in SV, SR and Platinum grade levels. Every Maxima has a 3.5-liter V6 engine under the hood that is capable of achieving 300 horsepower. The engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Pricing and on-sale information will be revealed soon. The 2021 Nissan Maxima will arrive at dealership lots this autumn.

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Volkswagen has chosen a name for its new SUV.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The forthcoming new Volkswagen SUV will be called the Taos after the town in New Mexico. The name was chosen to specifically appeal to North American customers, who are the target market for the SUV, which Will slot below the Tiguan in the VW lineup.

“We're thrilled to announce the name for the newest member of the Volkswagen family," said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "It was important to choose a name that really embodied the nature of the car and the town of Taos, New Mexico was a perfect fit. It's a small city that offers big things—from outdoor adventure to arts and design and great cuisine."

Taos New Mexico Taos, New Mexico is the namesake for a forthcoming Volkswagen model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"We are excited that Volkswagen has named their sport utility vehicle after the town of Taos," said Taos Mayor Dan Barrone. "It's a great opportunity for our community to share its rich history and culture alongside Volkswagen with its unique and rich history and culture."

Taos, New Mexico is a thriving small town of 6,000 people. It has a 400-year history and a 1,000-year-old Native American community just a few miles from the center fo town. Artists and skiers flock to the city, which is noted for its stunning landscapes.

Incidentally, Taos was also home to John Muir, an engineer turned mechanic, and author of "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step procedures for the Compleat Idiot." First published in 1969, and illustrated by local artist Peter Aschwanden, this counter-culture guide to Volkswagen repairs quickly developed a popular following. The book, started in Muir's Taos shop, has helped keep countless VW models running, from Beetles and Buses to Type 3 and Type 4 models.

Volkswagen promises that the new Taos “will offer great value, excellent fuel economy, and great packaging, as well as advanced infotainment and driver-assistance features”.

The 2022 Volkswagen Taos will be revealed on October 13.

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