Nissan spotted testing hotter Ariya EV at Nurburgring
Back in 2021, Nissan hinted at a performance version of the Ariya EV through teaser videos and images from the official Nissan press site. However, it seems as if Nissan had other plans at hand as we haven't heard a lot about it since then – until now.
Spy photos from the Nurburgring have captured Nissan's all-electric crossover doing laps around the Green Hell. What's interesting about it is that apart from the lack of camouflage, the Ariya was spotted to have some design tweaks to its body, a lower ride height, and a set of wheels wrapped in sticky tires. Those things suggest that this could finally be the Ariya NISMO we've been waiting for.
The Ariya seen at Nurburgring does not look radically different from the standard Ariya EV. If anything, it seems to follow the typical NISMO treatment. It has a different front fascia that gives it a chunkier face, and a wraparound skirt was also added to make it look sportier.
Aside from the bodywork add-ons, the Ariya is also wearing a different set of wheels that in fact resemble those from the all-new Z. Usually, EVs wear tires designed for low rolling resistance, but this particular Ariya is wearing 255 mm wide Michelin Pilot Sport tires for spirited driving.
Should this be the Ariya NISMO, then we may also expect a slight power bump that we often see on models given the NISMO treatment. Currently, the most potent variant of the Ariya EV already puts out 394 PS and 600 Nm of torque as a dual motor AWD. If Nissan wants to take on the Kia EV6 GT and Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, then we may even see the Ariya NISMO's power output go up to around the 500 or 600 PS range.
As to when would Nissan release the Ariya NISMO is still anyone's guess. But considering it's no longer wearing any camouflage, it's safe to assume the performance EV may already be in its final development phase and we may see it officially launched as early as the end of 2023.