Nissan Ariya EV shown with sporty design overhaul hints at Nismo going electric

Could it be? The Nismo EV we’ve been waiting for? A sleek Nissan Ariya prototype was spotted at the Nurburgring recently, featuring several Nismo-like design features.

Nissan introduced the Ariya in 2020, its first dedicated EV in over a decade following the LEAF. The electric crossover currently tops out at 389 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque.

However, a Nissan Ariya Nismo electric model could offer significantly more performance. It would likely be more in line with the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N (641 hp), Kia EV6 GT (576 hp), and Tesla Model Y Performance (456 hp).

Nismo, or Nissan Motorsports, is the brand’s performance division known for vehicles like the Nissan GT-R and 370Z Nismo.

Nissan’s Nismo also has (some) experience with electric racing vehicles. In 2011, Nissan launched the LEAF Nismo RC, touting it as the world’s first fully electric racing car. With the technology still under development, the EV could hit 62 mph in 6.8 seconds, not exactly impressive by today’s standards.

Nissan LEAF Nismo RC (Source: Nissan)

In 2018, the automaker launched a new LEAF Nismo RC that was 50% faster than the previous model (0-62 mph in 3.4 secs), with a combined 240 kW dual electric motor powertrain.

Sporty Nissan Ariya EV with Nismo features spotted

Meanwhile, a new Ariya Nismo will likely offer even more performance as EV and battery tech have advanced dramatically since then.

The Ariya prototype spotted in Germany (via Auto Express) includes several Nismo-like features like red trim elements and a lip spoiler on the front and tailgate. You can also see slight differences in the front bumper and fenders, including refreshed side vents. The updates are likely to improve aerodynamics.

Nissan hasn’t officially announced an Ariya Nismo EV will be arriving, but the fact that it’s out testing is a big sign that we will be hearing more about it soon.

We’ll have to wait until then to learn more about the powertrain and other specs. Stay tuned for more.

In the meantime, the 2023 Nissan Ariya starts at $43,190 with up to 216 miles range. For $47,190, the Venture+ trim offers up to 304 miles range. You can check out our link to find a great deal on an all-electric Ariya SUV near you.