Creating the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility: this is how Giovanny Arroba, Senior Design Director of the Japanese manufacturer, summarises the mission that led him and his team to define the Ariya concept. The Ariya is a crossover that was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last October and a foretaste of the future production vehicle based on the new electric vehicle platform that Nissan is preparing to launch in the summer. Auto&Design will retrace the design story in one of the next issues, but Arroba has, in the meantime, illustrated the inspiring principles of the Ariya Concept for us – “an expression of timeless Japanese futurism”, the designer says.

The aim of the project was “to capture the customer on first glance at the beautiful, attractive shapes, uniting the strong image and elevated seating of the crossover with slim, sexy volumes. The more the silhouette cuts the air, the more it gains in autonomy. For this, we worked in close contact with Engineering, as well as with Nissan’s Product Planning and Marketing”. The front end shows an evolution of the Shield V-Motion grille, while the distinctive lights are new: “we wanted to ‘draw out’ the lights, instead of keeping them in line with the surfaces”, Arroba continues.

Thanks to the flat floor, the interiors “offer the space of a D-segment vehicle, while the exterior dimensions are of the C-segment. For the design, we paired modern Japanese style minimalism with hi-tech features, while purposefully avoiding the usual screen at the centre of the dashboard. Instead, for the console, we were inspired by the living room ‘coffee table’; it is slidable and becomes the central focus of the passenger compartment”. The entire project is imprinted with a “finished simplicity”, Arroba explains again, with a basic consideration: “The car is actually the evolution of the horse, an ancient concept yet a current one because it is connected to a living being, a beautiful one that moves with strength and elegance”.