How would you go about creating an entirely new colour? It's almost impossible to imagine, isn't it? Yet that was essentially the brief for the designers working on the aesthetics of the new all-electric Nissan Ariya – resulting in the creation of two exclusive hues never seen before on Nissan's lineup.
Lesley Busby, Colour Manager at Nissan Design Europe, explains Ariya's pioneering spirit "helped the team get into an innovative mindset – it gave us the drive to offer something new". As a result, "this gave the team more capacity to devote themselves towards nurturing the powerful elements of Ariya's story".
Of course, the "powerful element" of Ariya that stands out the most is its electrified powertrain. "This theme was the biggest discussion point behind our colours. We realised they needed to convey the power and quietness that electric vehicles represent".
With the inspiration defined, the next step was to create mood boards. Lesley adds, "typically we start with twice the total number of colours concepts we want to have in the final line-up".
"From here, we then take our ideas and work with production and paint teams. This stage involves lots of experimentation and exploration on concepts, which sees our ideas transformed from our dreams to a physical form". For Ariya, continual experimentation meant their ideas eventually coalesced into two exclusive new colours: Akatsuki Copper and Aurora Green.
Akatsuki Copper "is symbolic of a new dawn", with its name inspired by the phrase for ‘dawn' in the Japanese language. The copper tone also immediately sparks connections with harnessing the power of electricity.
Meanwhile, Aurora Green takes its cue from the mythical Northern Lights, with these natural electromagnetic displays once again providing a reference to the beauty of silent, electrical power. And like the natural phenomenon, "it features amazing hints of colour that transform depending on how you look at it".
Lesley notes the importance of technology and painting techniques to ensure the new colours came to life in their full, vivid glory. "The addition of a slightly larger metallic flake with the Akatsuki Copper enhances the cleanliness of the colour, making it more striking in appearance". What's more, new and sustainable technological innovations in the paint production line reduce CO2 output by 25 percent, supporting Nissan's drive towards carbon neutrality.
Aurora Green and Akatsuki Copper complement a palette of other stunning options for Ariya, including tones such as Pearl White and Pearl Black, which have been enhanced by technology for a more premium, futuristic feel.
Having this eye on futuristic elements is always important, Lesley adds. With so much effort and devotion going into each colour, is it possible to still have a favourite? "It's difficult to pick one," Lesley finishes, "as each brings something unique to the line-up!"
# # #