Nissan’s New Cheap Electric Crossover? It’ll Be Fast as a Sports Car

Don’t expect your 370Z to be able to keep up with Nissan’s new electric SUV.

Americans have a clear preference when it comes to cars. When you move beyond the Big Three’s full-size trucks into “regular” vehicles, the next four best-selling cars in the U.S. in 2019 were compact crossovers: the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Chevy Equinox. The Ford Escape and Jeep Cherokee also cracked the top 20.

These are Goldilocks cars. They offer enough ride height, enough capability, enough space, enough efficiency and enough liveliness not to be onerous — and they also start at prices cheap enough for most new car buyers to afford.

Building a car that ticks all those boxes has been a major challenge for EV manufacturers. Earlier reports from last year have suggested, however, that Nissan is working on creating that very electric crossover the people want. The Ariya concept Nissan brought to CES 2020 this month looks like a near production-ready version of that crossover, which looks to be a tad smaller than the Rogue.

Want more good news? It’s going to be sporty.

Nissan’s senior VP for global design, Alfonso Albaisa, told Green Car Reports the “real” version of the Ariya will be “faster or as fast as a Z car.” (The Nissan 370Z’s 0-60 mph time sits around 5.2 seconds, for context.) The eventual production model will also feature Nissan’s new, awkwardly-named “e-4orce” all-wheel-drive system.which will give the car sports car-like body control when accelerating and cornering

Nissan, of course, is not the only manufacturer trying to get one of these Goldilocks electric crossovers to consumers. Ford is launching the Mustang Mach-E, and Tesla is supposed to have a version of the Model Y on sale by spring 2021. Volkswagen’s first ID electric model to reach America’s shores will likely be a similar ride, too.

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