Nissan’s major EV debut this year will certainly be the Ariya, as the Japanese automaker gets ready to field an inexpensive electric crossover as a companion model to the Leaf, but additional EVs aren’t far over the horizon. Auto Express reports that the next electric model we’ll see from Nissan will be a Juke-sized SUV.
The upcoming model is expected to use a shortened version Ariya’s CMF-EV platform, aiming to offer the dimensions of a city-sized subcompact SUV positioned below the Ariya. The new Juke-sized offering (which we’re tempted to call Juk-E) will also feature the automaker’s E-4ORCE all-wheel-drive system, slated to debut in the Ariya later this year.
This means we can expect single- and dual-motor versions of the smaller SUV once it arrives on the market, since the electric architecture has already been developed for the Ariya as well as the upcoming Renault Megane electric crossover, thanks to Renault’s partnership with Nissan.
The smallish electric SUV is expected to be more generous than the Juke when it comes to interior space, according to Auto Express, thanks to a greater amount of room above the floor, allowing the cabin to be proportionally larger and the overhangs to be shorter. The subcompact SUV is also expected to receive the smaller version of the Ariya’s battery pack, good for 63 kWh, which could give it a range of about 250 miles on a single charge, according to the publication. It’s also expected to be quite a bit less expensive than the Ariya, landing around the $41,000 mark in the U.K. and Europe, before various incentives.
“A platform investment is huge. For sure, there will be usage for the [CMF-EV] platform for something more than Ariya,” Nissan Europe’s head of EVs, Helen Perry, told Auto Express last year. “We wouldn’t have invested in a brand-new Alliance platform unless there was other usage planned.”
Could we see such a model stateside?
For now, Nissan has been generous with its electric offerings in the U.S., selling the Leaf here for over a decade and using it to stake out an early lead in the hatchback segment. The Leaf was also aimed at the very early days of EV adoption in the market, when it was still envisioned as an alternative to the Toyota Prius and its competitors. In that sense, Nissan had nearly the entire EV hatch segment to itself until the arrival of the Bolt, but both quickly came to be seen as commuter-minded economy electrics rather than desirable beyond their zero-emissions creds.
Despite having experienced early success in the EV sphere, Nissan did not follow up the Leaf with other offerings, allowing Tesla to take the lead in the U.S. Now it should be feeling pressure to bring a greater variety of body styles offering battery-electric powertrains to the U.S., with the Ariya being the first one since the redesigned Leaf. That’s why we’re optimistic about this model’s chances stateside, just as the EV market continues to go crazy for small crossovers.
Should Nissan offer a Juke-sized EV stateside? Let us know in the comments below.
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