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Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept uses road car powertrain for racing

Have you ever wondered what would happen if somehow a stylish crossover turned into a race car? Well, look no further than the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept, a high-performance development and demonstration project that’s meant to show how the road car’s powertrain can be used for competitive racing. This show car was presented at the Nissan Futures event by Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President of Global Design at Nissan, and Manuel Hoyos, Global Marketing Divisional General Manager for Brand and Engagement.

“We are delighted to present the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept from our Nissan Futures event,” said Hoyos. “At Nissan, we dare to do what others don’t. With this concept, we want to showcase the high-performance potential of the Ariya’s powertrain in a motorsports-inspired package that not only hints at the design and styling of the road car that inspired it, but that also demonstrates a new and efficient EV performance language. Acting as a test bed for future technological evolution, this project can help bring excitement from the road to the racetrack, and also demonstrate Nissan’s expertise in transferring knowledge and technology from the racetrack to the road.”

The Ariya Single Seater Concept looks at what Nissan’s electrified performance cars could look like. It features several design cues from the road car including the two-tone copper and black exterior color scheme, the aero blade-like wheels, and an enclosed V-motion grille that lights up. Like the production car, the surfaces on the Ariya Single Seater Concept flow seamlessly, blending one panel after another and adding an organic look. There’s a spoiler in the back that likely functions to add more downforce.

Albaisa noted that the Ariya Single Seater Concept builds on Nissan’s new design language dubbed Timeless Japanese Futurism. “We are now drawing inspiration from the Japanese words shun, meaning to run fast and effortlessly, and sho, meaning to soar with power and grace,” he notes. “The Ariya Single Seater Concept is the perfect expression of this new language. Leveraging the Ariya’s EV powertrain in a motorsports-inspired package allowed our international team to capture this new sense of speed, technology, and artistry.”

One of the inspirations to the Ariya Singe Seater Concept’s design is Nissan’s participation in Formula E where it pushes the limits of electric powertrains. The company also uses the series to support the development of its road-going vehicles. Tommaso Volpe, Global Motorsports Director at Nissan, reveals that the EV and Formula E programs complement each other, transferring knowledge between the road and track. The Ariya Single Seat Concept takes the powertrain of the road-going crossover and puts it on a lightweight single-seat racing chassis.N

In the U.S., the 2023 Nissan Ariya will initially be available only in long-range configuration. That means it will come with a liquid-cooled 87-kWh battery backed by either one or two electric motors. The single-motor variant is good for 238 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque and it will also have the longest range of 285 to 300 miles depending on the trim and wheel size chosen. The most powerful version is the dual-motor Ariya e-4orce, which has 389 hp and 442 lb-ft. That will only be available on the range-topping Platinum+ grade with a range of 265 miles per charge. Every Ariya can DC charge at peak rates of 130 kW. A standard range model with a smaller 63-kWh battery pack will follow at a later date.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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