Car News

Nissan's Next Electric Car Likely to Get AWD

Nissan is taking what it has learned from making high-performance all-wheel-drive cars and applying it to electrification. The e-4orce twin-motor AWD system is designed to increase performance as well as comfort and will be shown off in the company's Ariya Concept EV.

E-4orce, which Nissan says is pronounced e-Force, uses a pair of electric motors, one front and one rear, to drive the vehicle's four wheels. Nissan says that it has taken lessons learned from the ATTESA E-TS all-wheel-drive system in the GT-R supercar as well as the Nissan Patrol SUV's 4x4 system, and applied them to how the e-4orce system manages torque.

"The e-4orce twin-motor all-wheel control technology offers precise handling and stability, which gives drivers greater confidence and even more excitement than ever before,” said Takao Asami, Nissan research VP. “This technology enables excellent cornering performance and traction on slippery surfaces and comfortable ride for all passengers.”

Thanks to the ability of electric motors to better control power output than their gas counterparts, the computer can better use the motor and brakes to control traction as well as to limit over and understeer. This makes cars easier to drive for performance amateurs, Nissan says, but also more enjoyable for those who are more experienced.

Though EV performance is gaining in popularity, there are ride comfort benefits to the system too, Nissan says. Modulating the regenerative braking system front and rear means that Nissan can limit pitch and dive, so stop and go traffic becomes less jostling. Bumpy roads can also become smoother with the system, Nissan says.

The performance test demonstrator was a specially equipped Nissan Leaf, though the static display is the "near-production electric crossover concept" Ariya. No word on where the e-4orce system might first see dealers.