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Nissan's Most Anticipated Electric Car Makes NZ Debut

Nissan made waves with its electric vehicle (EV) game by launching the widely acclaimed Leaf about 13 years ago. However, apart from the electric eNV200 van, its EV portfolio has been quite scant since then. That's unless one considers the stylish and luxury-oriented Ariya electric SUV, which has been the talking point in several international markets including North America.

After a long wait, Kiwi EV enthusiasts finally have something to cheer about. The first Nissan Ariya trial units have reached New Zealand shores for dealership appraisals and real-world assessments. If you happen to be in Wellington or its vicinity, the Ariya is now accessible for a close look at the Gazley Nissan dealership on Kent Terrace. Moreover, this dealer is facilitating Ariya test drives for customers up till Monday, October 9.

However, the official nod from Nissan New Zealand for the Ariya's local launch is still pending. A company representative only mentioned to Stuff that there are 'expectations' of the Ariya joining the local fleet. Specifics regarding local pricing and features remain under wraps.

While Gazley Nissan is actively engaging with potential customers for test drives, they're not yet taking solid bookings or disclosing prices. Eager buyers are currently being encouraged to 'register their interest' so they're prioritised once more details surface.

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Interestingly, a few Ariyas have made their way into New Zealand as grey imports. But this recent development marks the first instance of Nissan New Zealand officially introducing the model.

Internationally, the Ariya has various performance models. The flagship AWD e-4orce Performance Ariya, equipped with an 87kWh battery and dual motors, boasts of 290kW/600Nm, enabling it to race from 0-100kmh in just 5.1 seconds. There's also a two-wheel drive alternative with 160kW/300Nm. Additionally, a smaller 63kWh battery variant is available.

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As per Nissan's claims, the 87kWh 2WD Ariya can deliver a driving range of up to 610km, while the AWD Performance version has approximately 400km of range. Opting for the smaller battery trims the range down to 450km for the 2WD version and 435km for the AWD model.

Tech-wise, the Ariya models available abroad are equipped with twin 12.3-inch screens, cordless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and an in-built Amazon Alexa voice control system. This tech feature enables drivers to give vehicle-to-home commands, such as activating the air-conditioning while on the move.

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