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 2022 Frontier gets a brand-new face and updated tech.

Nissan

After 16 years on sale in its current form, the Nissan Frontier is a familiar face on our roads. The truck, which is technically old enough to get a driver's license and drive itself, is being totally overhauled for 2022, and the new look is a big departure from the ute we've seen for so many years. Nissan announced that production has started, so we don't have much longer to wait to see it in action for ourselves.

The new truck's 3.8-liter V6 has already been in action powering the 2021 Frontier. It produces a class-leading 310 horsepower and 281 pound-feet of torque, and sends its power to either the rear or all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.


2022 Nissan Frontier Production is underway in Mississippi.Nissan


This is the first new Frontier we've seen in over a decade, so the upgrade in technology is steep over the previous truck. The 2022 Frontier can be optioned with a surround-view camera system with off-road mode that automatically displays terrain around the truck when it's shifted into 4LO. The system displays guidelines and can help the driver navigate tough obstacles on the trail. A host of safety features will be available that includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, high beam assist, and more.

Other than its age, there was nothing particularly wrong with the previous Frontier's interior, but the new truck looks to be considerably more upscale and modern. Various trims come with interesting contrasting color schemes and the truck gets Nissan's excellent Zero Gravity seats as standard. New hydraulic cab mounts should help quell vibrations inside, and traditional hydraulic power steering will provide excellent steering feel and feedback.

Nissan is building the new frontier in its Canton, MS facility, while the truck's engine is being built at the automaker's powertrain plant in Tennessee. We'll start seeing the new model on dealers' lots sometime in late summer 2021, and you can find a first drive review of the truck right here in a few weeks.


2022 Nissan Frontier The new trucks will arrive on dealers' lots later this summer.Nissan

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New SUV

New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

The Compass gets a major update for 2022.

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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