Introducing the Nissan Gripz Concept, a Radical Sports Crossover
Debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday (15/09/2015), the Nissan Gripz Concept blends the utility and practicality of a compact crossover with the exciting performance of a sports car.
Infused with a radical design and advanced powertrain concept, the Gripz is a glimpse of future compact crossovers from the segment’s pioneer.
The Nissan Gripz Concept can handle day-to-day commutes as well as provide genuine weekend adventure, similar to a road cyclist who tackles city streets during the week and then a mountain pass on a day off.
The concept has the silhouette of a sports car with a raised ride height, but is made for even more challenging driving conditions. The result pays homage to one of Nissan’s first ‘crossovers’, the iconic Safari Rally-winning Nissan 240Z, which were re-engineered for demanding terrain conditions.
The Gripz also incorporates Nissan’s expertise in crossovers, 4×4, sportscars and electric powertrains, featuring EV technology based on the series-hybrid system, Pure Drive e-Power. An efficient petrol engine is used to power the same electric motor as found in the Nissan LEAF, generating output of 80kW and 254Nm.
The Gripz incorporates four key design elements first seen in Europe on the Nissan Sway show car: a V-motion grille, boomerang lamps front and rear, a floating roof, and a kicked-up C-pillar.
Taking the compact crossover genre to its extreme, the concept reflects a dual personality, combining the stripped back lightness of a Tour de France road-racing bicycle with the strength of a rally car.
“Nissan pioneered the idea of the compact crossover, and this is reflected in the enormous popularity of Qashqai and Juke and the resulting growth of the market segment as other manufacturers play catch-up,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer.
“While the Nissan Gripz Concept is not seen as a direct replacement for either of those two iconic vehicles, it does show the extremes to which the compact crossover can be pushed.”
Nissan Gripz Concept took inspiration from a road bike
The Gripz features a carbon frame over which expressive body panels are placed, like armored cladding. Exposed carbon elements spear through the design, accentuating features such as the boomerang-shape given to the leading edge of the front door structure.
The concept has four doors, with deep dihedral front doors that swing out and up when opened and a pair of rear-hinged half-doors behind. There is no B-pillar, allowing easy access to the 2+2 interior.
The front end is dominated by Nissan’s V-motion grille, mounted low and framed by rectangular lamps housing high and low beams. Within the lamps are forward-facing cameras, like a helmet-cam used by many cyclists.
The exterior was created in Europe, while a dedicated team in Japan designed a mix of matt-gray and the deep red-orange colors in the interior, which underlines the car’s cycling inspiration with exposed tubes, molded bucket seats and layered features.
“What influence the concept’s design has on the next crossover generation from Nissan remains to be seen, though we are keen to gauge public reaction when it appears at the Frankfurt Show,” Nakamura added.