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Hot Nissan Ariya Nismo SUV is designed to sound like a Formula E car

The high-performance family SUV gets as much as 429bhp, as well as a sporty bodykit and chassis upgrades

The hot electric SUV space is heating up as the Nissan Ariya Nismo has arrived as a high-performance variant of the Japanese brand’s electric SUV and a rival to the Volkswagen ID.4 GTX, Skoda Enyaq vRS and Kia EV6 GT.

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More than just a sporty-looking trim level, the Ariya Nismo gets several performance upgrades over the standard car. Boasting dual electric motors to provide the brand’s signature e-4ORCE four-wheel drive, the entry-level Ariya Nismo ‘B6’ outputs 362bhp, which is, curiously, less than the 388bhp of the current range-topping e-4ORCE model. Still, it’s a healthy figure and more than what you get in the aforementioned Skoda and VW.

Those looking for the ultimate in performance should instead opt for the range-topping Nissan Ariya Nismo ‘B9’; tuned to output 429bhp, the Nismo may not be able to match the 527bhp of the Tesla Model Y Performance, nor the over 600bhp of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N, but it should nevertheless be able to do 0-62mph in under five seconds. Official performance figures are coming later down the line, but for comparison, the standard Ariya e-4ORCE completes the same sprint in 5.1 seconds.

Also yet to be confirmed are range figures for both models; we expect the B6’s 63kWh (usable) battery to be sufficient for around 250 miles on a single charge, while the B9’s comparatively huge 87kWh unit should mean it won’t break a sweat cracking over 300 miles before needing to be plugged-in. As is the case with the standard Nissan Ariya, it’s likely that 130kW DC ultra-rapid charging will continue to be a standard feature range-wide.

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Nissan hasn’t simply boosted power and said “a job well done”; the team at Nismo have made several tweaks to the Ariya’s chassis to make it more taut and engaging to drive. Sticky Michelin rubber wraps a set of 20-inch alloy wheels and should help the hot Nissan SUV grip the tarmac, while the sound of the electric motors has been tuned to make the Ariya sound a bit like Nissan’s Formula E race car.

Of course, if you’re not lucky enough to be in the driver’s seat or be taken for a ride, it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between the Ariya Nismo and its more everyday counterparts.

For starters, the hot Ariya gets plenty of signature Nismo Red accents inside and out. A racier bodykit not only provides a more dramatic appearance, but Nissan says that the larger vents aid cooling and that the new front and rear spoilers both provide actual downforce – you’d probably have to be going a lot faster than what’s legal on UK roads for them to start doing so, however.

Stepping inside, the Nissan Ariya Nismo gets an interior dressed in sporty red and black Alcantara suede, as well as red ambient lighting and a small red strip on the dashboard. The special ‘Nismo’ drive mode sadly doesn’t appear to get any exclusive graphics but there is a neat Nismo-branded animation whenever you start the car up.

Nissan remains tight-lipped as to whether the Ariya Nismo will be coming to the UK, but it has stated that the hot SUV will go on sale in Japan in the spring. We have no doubts that it will eventually come to Europe, especially given the number of performance electric SUVs already on-sale. When it does, prices are likely to start north of £60,000; expensive, yes, but the Ariya has long been pitched as a more premium alternative to VW and Skoda rivals.

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Hello there, I’m Tom Jervis and I have the pleasure of being the Content Editor here at DrivingElectric. Before joining the team in 2023, I spent my time reviewing cars and offering car buying tips and advice on DrivingElectric’s sister site, Carbuyer. I also continue to occasionally contribute to the AutoExpress magazine – another of DrivingElectric’s partner brands. In a past life, I worked for the BBC as a journalist and broadcast assistant for regional services in the east of England – constantly trying to find stories that related to cars!

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