In times when energy efficiency is so important, having to sell SUVs and crossovers must look like nonsense to automakers. Yet, they have to sell what people want to buy. Nissan knew the Ariya had to be a capable electric crossover to be competitive. To achieve that, the Japanese company made sure it was the most aerodynamic crossover it has produced until now, with a drag coefficient of 0.297.
That’s a better coefficient than that of many sedans, but the big frontal area of the Ariya certainly does not help. Unfortunately, Nissan did not reveal its frontal area, which would give us a better idea of how efficient the new electric crossover will be.
Despite that, Nissan said that the 500-kilometer (311-mile) range goal disclosed at the car world premiere would probably be better due to these efforts with aerodynamic improvements. To make the car more energy-efficient, less drag is as important as less weight and a powertrain that demands less energy – something electric motors are already excellent at delivering.
Could Nissan have achieved more in terms of aerodynamics? That is not unlikely, especially when you consider that the Model Y has a drag coefficient of 0.23, according to Tesla. The issue would probably be with the Ariya styling, which could be confused for that of a large hatchback. If the Ariya was to conquer new customers, it had to make a stand in terms of appearance.
According to Nissan, more than 25,000 customers in Europe would have shown interest in buying the Ariya. The company has not released the pre-order numbers for the US, but more than 100,000 customers worldwide would be interested.
Regardless of where the future buyers live, they will have to wait for the homologation process to end, something Nissan expects to happen “later in the year.” Considering it was presented back in July 2020, we’d expect that to be already sorted.