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From school run to starting grid: Nissan Ariya SUV becomes single-seater racer

Just how versatile are electric cars? Adaptable enough that a family SUV can be converted into a Formula-E racer.

That’s the case with Nissan’s latest creation, called the Ariya Single Seater Concept. 

It is loosely based on the forthcoming £40,000 Ariya SUV – the electric model that will sit above the Qashqai in the Japanese brand’s range – and uses the same powertrain but incorporates it into a ‘motorsports-inspired package’.

From school run to starting grid: Underneath this stunning single-seater Formula-E racer is the powertrain set to feature in the forthcoming Nissan Ariya SUV sold in Britain next year

While the two vehicle silhouettes couldn’t be any different, what powers them is almost exactly the same.

Nissan hasn’t confirmed the performance capabilities of the racer, though says it uses the same CMF-EV platform, e-4ORCE four-wheel drive system and dual-motor electric powertrain that underpins the most potent versions of the all-new electric SUV, which is likely to cost around £60,000 when order books open shortly and offer a maximum range of 310 miles.

This means it should produce 389bhp and 600Nm of torque.

Nissan hasn't confirmed the performance capabilities of the racer, though says it uses the same CMF-EV platform, e-4ORCE four-wheel drive system and dual-motor electric powertrain that underpins the most potent versions of the all-new electric SUV
Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept

Nissan hasn’t confirmed the performance capabilities of the racer, though says it uses the same CMF-EV platform, e-4ORCE four-wheel drive system and dual-motor electric powertrain that underpins the most potent versions of the all-new electric SUV

The Single Seater Concept is clad in ultra-light carbon-fibre and is shaped like a bullet rather than a passenger-filled brick

The Single Seater Concept is clad in ultra-light carbon-fibre and is shaped like a bullet rather than a passenger-filled brick

The most potent versions of the new Nissan Ariya SUV are likely to cost around £60,000 when order books open shortly and offer a maximum range of 310 miles

The most potent versions of the new Nissan Ariya SUV are likely to cost around £60,000 when order books open shortly and offer a maximum range of 310 miles

With this setup, even the hulking SUV can hit 62mph from rest in 5.1 seconds – an acceleration time we imagine is shaved by a couple of seconds in the Formula-E version, given the Single Seater Concept does without the bulk of the weight.

It’s also clad in ultra-light carbon-fibre bodywork and is shaped like a bullet rather than a passenger-filled brick – a combination that will only bolster its blistering speed.

In terms of the styling, the racer uses the same illuminated ‘V’ motion grille design, which is very similar to the daytime running lights that feature on the family car you can buy in Nissan showrooms in 2022.

While the two vehicles are very different, there are a few features shared between them

The two Ariyas have similar V-shaped running lights at the front end

While the two vehicles are very different, there are a few features shared between them, including the V-shaped running lights at the front end

The concept is designed to showcase the high-performance powertrains that will underpin family cars of the future

The concept is designed to showcase the high-performance powertrains that will underpin family cars of the future

Its creation has also been inspired by Nissan's participation in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

Its creation has also been inspired by Nissan’s participation in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship

The Japanese brand says the side view of the Single Seater Concept takes inspiration from the Ariya SUV’s ‘fluid and efficient surfaces’, though exaggerated to the maximum by the switch to carbon panels.

‘Overall, the Nissan Ariya Single Seater Concept describes a form that, as with the Ariya, looks like it was shaped by the air itself,’ the car company says.

While the concept is designed to showcase the high-performance powertrains that will underpin family cars of the future, its creation has also been inspired by Nissan’s participation in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship – for which the car could be used for display during race weekends if a fully-working model is built.

Nissan could build a working concept version it showcases at race weekends and other events

Nissan could build a working concept version it showcases at race weekends and other events

The Ariya SUV, which will be built in Japan and not Nissan UK's Sunderland factory, is due to be available to order in a matter of months

The Ariya SUV, which will be built in Japan and not Nissan UK’s Sunderland factory, is due to be available to order in a matter of months

Prices for entry versions with smaller batteries are expected to start from £40,000 to £45,000

Prices for entry versions with smaller batteries are expected to start from £40,000 to £45,000

‘At Nissan, we dare to do what others don’t,’ explained Juan Manuel Hoyos, global marketing manager.

‘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. 

‘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.’

The Ariya SUV, which will be built in Japan and not Nissan UK’s Sunderland factory, is due to be available to order in a matter of months, with the entry price for smaller battery versions with a range of up to 211 miles is expected to start from £40,000 to £45,000. 

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