Nissan finally seems serious about expanding its electrification efforts beyond the single-motor Nissan Leaf.
In October, the Japanese automaker announced a prototype Nissan Leaf with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. The same week it showed an all-electric crossover concept at the 2019 Tokyo motor show called the Ariya with a pair of electric motors hidden beneath its metal skin.
On Tuesday at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nissan debuted both of these concepts for the first time on U.S. soil, but now the twin-motor all-wheel-drive system has a name: e-4ORCE.
Together, the Ariya concept and e-4ORCE preview an upcoming electric small crossover SUV Nissan will likely debut within the next year. Sales are expected to begin in 2021.
The Ariya rides on a dedicated electric platform with one electric motor up front and another in the rear. The battery pack is mounted low, the front and rear overhangs are short, and the wheelbase is stretched for more passenger space.
The Nissan Leaf concept with the dual-motor setup packs 300 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque from its two electric motors. While all-wheel drive improves performance and all-weather capability, Nissan said it uses the system to improve ride comfort as the rear motor will help manage pitch and dive by aiding with acceleration and with regenerative braking.
Nissan's GT-R supercar isn't electrified in any way, but Godzilla's advanced ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system that can split torque from 0/100 to 50/50 front-to-rear helped Nissan develop the e-4ORCE system. The less-advanced all-wheel-drive system in the Nissan Patrol and Nissan Armada also helped.
For more news from CES, see our dedicated hub.