TOKYO — Nissan's next-generation electric vehicle, the long-awaited Ariya crossover, will get the company's latest automated driving system and all-electric powertrain and drive like a dream.
That's the promise from CEO Makoto Uchida, who told Nissan shareholders last week that the production-version Ariya will make its global debut on July 15 and soon go on sale in Japan.
The upcoming EV crossover won't be just a green-car environment play, Uchida said. The new nameplate also "offers an amazing driving experience and excitement," he said.
The Ariya is Nissan Motor Co.'s first EV entry in the critical crossover segment and a key to renewing Nissan's global lineup and rebooting the brand's ho-hum image.
Uchida said it will get Nissan's latest ProPilot 2.0 hands-off automated driving system and a new all-electric powertrain. It will go on sale first in Japan, then overseas markets, he added. Nissan has said the EV crossover will eventually be available in the U.S., Europe and China.
The five-seat electric crossover will have a 300-mile battery range and go from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds, according to U.S. dealers briefed on the product last summer.
The ProPilot 2.0 system, introduced last year in Japan, allows hands-free, auto-navigating highway driving from on-ramp to off-ramp. Nissan hasn't detailed plans for deploying the 2.0 version to other markets.
The powertrain is expected to be Nissan's new e-4ORCE all-wheel-drive electric powertrain. The setup uses two motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, to deliver high torque, stability and precise handling, all while modulating power to each of the wheels as needed.
The Ariya, which debuted as a concept at last year's Tokyo Motor Show, is expected to be assembled at Nissan's Tochigi plant, which is being converted to an EV-making factory.
The EV will help spearhead a renewal of Nissan's global lineup, Uchida said. Nissan will introduce eight pure EVs under its midterm plan, and 12 new models globally in the next 18 months.