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 copperNissan 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 cabinThe 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 ConceptThe 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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New subcompact crossover

Honda announces freshened HR-V for 2023

The new HR-V is based on the Civic.

Honda

With the release of the all-new Civic and its performance variants, Honda's lineup grew more exciting this year. Even so, the automaker can't forget about its bread and butter models, which in the United States means SUVs. Its smallest, the HR-V, is getting an overhaul for 2023 with fresh styling and a more responsive powertrain. Honda hasn't elaborated on pricing or given out an exact release date for the HR-V, but we know the SUV is coming this summer.

2023 Honda HR-VThe new HR-V gets fresh styling and a more responsive powertrain.Honda

The 2023 HR-V gets a new grille with a longer hood and sweeping roofline. Honda notes that the new HR-V is based on the Civic, so while we don't have full powertrain and tech details for the new SUV, we can draw some inferences from that information. The new Civic comes standard with a 158-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a CVT, which would be a reasonable choice for the HR-V. As it did in the Civic, the base will likely also bring a lively driving experience and confident handling to the HR-V.

2023 Honda HR-VThe HR-V will hit the streets this summer.Honda

Honda says the HR-V features a large greenhouse with door-mounted mirrors and a low cowl for better visibility. LED headlights and tail lights are standard, and the new rear-end design features a more rounded, grown-up shape than the previous model.

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The Everglades adds off-road upgrades to the already rugged Bronco.

Ford

The Ford Bronco remains one of the most difficult to find vehicles around, months after its release. Though it doesn't need any help generating demand for the rugged SUV, Ford just released an Everglades Special Edition model with unique features and improved off-road capability.

The Special Edition 2022 Ford Bronco® Everglades™ | Fordwww.youtube.com

The Everglades is available as a four-door model, and comes with everything in the Sasquatch package plus a snorkel, winch, and more. Ford says the snorkel runs on the passenger-side A-pillar, and features an adjustable inlet to change the direction based on conditions. The intake also allows the Bronco to ford deeper water without fear of drowning the engine. Further bolstering the SUV's aquatic abilities, both axles, the transfer case, and transmission all feature modified vents to increase fording depth. Together, the Bronco Everglades' upgrades give it a water fording depth of 36.4 inches.

Using the Bronco's modular design, the Everglades features a Ford Performance bumper with a Warn winch and modified fenders with squared wheel arches. The winch offers a 10,000-pound capacity and a 100-foot line to pull the SUV out of hairy situations, while the wheel arches are squared instead of rounded, and feature Everglades graphics.

Ford Bronco EvergladesA 12-inch touchscreen is standard.Ford

The Bronco Everglades gets a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, and a 67.1:1 crawl ratio. Ford says it will offer the Everglades in five colors: Model-exclusive Desert Sand, Eruption Green, Area 51, Shadow Black, and Cactus Gray.

Orders for the new Bronco Everglades open in March, but is reserved exclusively for existing reservation holders. Pricing starts at $54,495, including a $1,495 destination charge.

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