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2023 Nissan Ariya e-4orce will make all-wheel drive not only traction: Technology preview

The first time we sat in the driver’s seat of 2023 Nissan Ariya missed the star of the lineup: the company’s dual-engine all-wheel drive system, enhanced by a next-generation chassis system known as the e-4orce.

While the e-4orce is technology for electric vehicles, it draws on tuning expertise from the all-wheel-drive GT-R supercar. With the EVs and their more responsive thrusters, the e-4orce can adjust and coordinate the complete response of both the dual electric motors and the separate four-wheel brake in tens of milliseconds instead of hundreds of milliseconds. .

The aim is not just to provide enhanced traction and stability, but to physically work all four wheels to help correct the vehicle’s attitude to prevent lift during hard, noisy acceleration during deceleration. and balance when cornering.

2023 Nissan Ariya - preview drive (Euro specs)

2023 Nissan Ariya – preview drive (Euro specs)

As I observed during a test drive before Ariya’s closed-door course earlier this week, this electric crossover isn’t clumsy at all in front-wheel drive form, but it promises to be much more agile in e-form. -4orce.

Due in part to supply chain hurdles, e-4orce versions of the Ariya will arrive in late autumn, compared with front-wheel drive versions early fall. While Nissan doesn’t have a production-specific Ariya e-4orce to drive, the company has brought back a familiar e-Force face – a Leaf showman installed with a version of the system that can be turned on and off.

Demonstration of Nissan Leaf e-4orce - updated to represent Ariya e-4orce 2023

Demonstration of Nissan Leaf e-4orce – updated to represent Ariya e-4orce 2023

This protester is same car we drove in January 2020although updated to represent the final form software used in the Ariya e-4orce.

Basically, in this dual engine “Super Leaf,” The layout is almost the same as what will be in the Ariya e-4orce, with twin engines and open differentials on each axle.

I jumped in the driver’s seat with a technician to turn the system on and off, and reinvented my own idea.

Nissan e-4ORCE electric all-wheel drive system

Nissan e-4ORCE electric all-wheel drive system

Nissan let me accelerate and decelerate at city speeds for the first time in setting B, which provides more regenerative braking, to show that the system works fine at the wheels — even the layout regenerative braking — to help keep the vehicle level even when you’re short of pushing the tire’s grip limit. I did the exercise once with standard stability control, then with the e-4orce, and found the car to feel flatter with the e-4orce, with the ability to use more regen without throttling. unpleasant guests.

It’s not a small difference, like the horrible jet boat I experienced while driving in the middle of the morning in Spain; it’s like night and day.

Next is a series of curves. The first is a tighter curve taken at about 25 mph, then an S-curve set at about 37 mph. The system interferes in such a subtle way that you might not even realize what it’s doing. However, the real result is that you can corner faster, without feeling like the cabin is tilting back and forth.

During my test drive, a downpour left a large amount of shallow puddles throughout the entire journey. As I pushed harder with the system on, I could feel it not only managing traction at the wheels, but also dialing the balance of the car’s weight back away from the plowing front wheels.

Demonstration of Nissan Leaf e-4orce - updated to represent Ariya e-4orce 2023

Demonstration of Nissan Leaf e-4orce – updated to represent Ariya e-4orce 2023

The pure bottom line is that you can enjoy the Ariya’s dynamics — or a more aggressive brake adjustment mode — without having to drive awkwardly the rest of the time and without disturbing your passengers.

It should also be noted that the e-4orce operates without the need for energy intake or the additional component of an air suspension or adjustable dampers.

To help the physics behind this idea resonate, Nissan recently built a version of this system into a small dual-engine server tray used at ramen counters. It shows how nuance control of dual motors can deliver bowls of noodles and broth quickly to customers without spilling or spilling.

2023 Nissan Ariya - preview drive (Euro specs)

2023 Nissan Ariya – preview drive (Euro specs)

However, this demo is no substitute for experiencing the system in Ariya. There are a few key differences between this demonstration car and what we’ll see in the Ariya in terms of components. While the Leaf demo adds a second EM57 permanent magnet (PSM) motor to the rear wheel — the main engine for the Leaf — and it’s based entirely on existing Leaf thrusters, the Ariya will be offered. by an Externally Excited Synchronous Motor. This design generates a field with an electric current instead of a rare earth dependent magnet. As Nissan told us, that makes it more efficient at highway speeds, but not quite as abruptly as the PSM units.

Nissan's CMF-EV Platform

Nissan’s CMF-EV Platform

Ariya’s CMF-EV . Platform also designed around a new communication bus that makes the e-4orce’s response faster and more flexible. Nissan installed a subprocessor to reproduce the system’s responses, but we’ve been told in the past that it’s not quite the same.

The Ariya can also weigh about 500 lb more in its 87 kwh e-4orce e-4orce Performance form than the Leaf performer, which Nissan previously said adds up to 200 lb more than the front-wheel drive Leaf Plus, for a total of around 4,200 lb. For comparison, the front-wheel drive Ariya we drove, with its smaller 63 kWh battery pack, is estimated to weigh around 4,300 lb.

The bottom line: Nissan is doing some very cool things with all-wheel drive and dual-motor systems, and it’s really building on technology that was originally designed for internal combustion engines. But nothing can replace a real-world demo in an actual Ariya e-4orce. We hope to give you an honest impression of the system in Ariya before it arrives in late autumn.

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