Nissan has detailed a new twin-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain for electric vehicles (EVs) that it claims delivers “balanced, predictable power and handling on par with many premium sports cars”. 

Called e-4orce, the system was demonstrated with a modified version of the Leaf hatchback at CES in the US and will provide power for the production version of last year’s Ariya SUV concept, which is set to be launched in the next two years. 

Nissan says the e-4orce powertrain incorporates elements of the torque-split technology in the GT-R supercar and of the four-wheel-drive system from the Patrol SUV. It has been developed “to specifically manage electric vehicle power output and braking performance to be smooth and stable”. 

An electric motor is fitted to both axles, with each using regenerative braking to reduce jolting in stop-start driving. The system is also said to improve comfort over bumpy surfaces by minimising irregular movement. 

Takao Asami, Nissan’s senior vice president of research and advanced engineering, said e4orce “gives drivers greater confidence and even more excitement than ever before”. 

“This technology enables excellent cornering performance and traction on slippery surfaces and comfortable ride for all passengers,” he added. 

Precise technical details and performance data remain unconfirmed, but e4orce is expected to offer more power and faster acceleration than the 214bhp Leaf e+, the most powerful EV Nissan currently produces. 

Nissan hasn’t confirmed that the powertrain will be available in any model besides the Ariya, but product planning boss Ivan Espinosa recently confirmed to Autocar that electrification options are being discussed for the successors to the 370Z and GT-R.