Nissan unveils all-wheel-drive EV single seater

New concept shows how the Nissan Ariya's electric powertrain could be better deployed

By PH Staff / Thursday, December 2, 2021 / Loading comments

Nissan has rather overindulged itself on concepts recently. Earlier this week it revealed four at once in support of its Ambition 2030 plan, which decrees that no less than 23 electrified cars – including 15 new battery-powered models – will be on sale by 2030, a target it will invest £33 billion to achieve. Unsurprisingly, the Ariya Single Seater Concept will not be among them. It too is a product of the manufacturer’s feverish imagination, crafted to show how the Nissan Ariya’s electric powertrain could be applied to a racing car chassis.

“We are delighted to present the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept from our Nissan Futures event,” said Juan Manuel Hoyos, Nissan’s global marketing manager. “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.”

While it’s easy to take these statements with a container ship of salt, we’ll admit to being delighted when any manufacturer alludes to life on circuit rather than the dreary prospect of enhanced personal mobility. Moreover, thanks to Nissan’s participation in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the firm can at least draw on some real-world experience for inspiration.

“Nissan competes in Formula E not only to race on track, but also to support the development of compelling electric vehicles for customers,” said Tommaso Volpe, Nissan global motorsports director. “Our EV programs inform our Formula E program and vice versa, allowing for road-to-track technology transfer as well as track-to-road. The Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept explores the combination of the all-electric powertrain, dual motors and revolutionary all-wheel drive system of the Ariya with a pure single seat racing chassis – a powerful demonstration of just how thrilling electric vehicles could be.”

Again, some salt. But leveraging the new powertrain – which ought to offer the best part of 400hp – is interesting enough, especially as that’s a healthier output than the current Formula E cars are treated to. No less important for Nissan is the idea that the concept borrows design cues from the SUV – mostly via the electrified and illuminated ‘V’ motif at the front.

“Acting as a testbed for future technological evolution, this project can help bring excitement from the road to the race track, and also demonstrate Nissan’s expertise in transferring knowledge and technology from the race track to the road” added Hoyos. Obviously there’s no reason to think you’ll be seeing the carbon fibre single seater follow the Ariya down the production line, but at least the firm is internally mulling what the future of electrified performance cars might look like.

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