Text: Marcus De Guzman / Photos: Nissan | posted September 16, 2015 11:46
Nissan blends crossover practicality and sports car performance in the Gripz concept
After teasing the motoring public with a teaser image of a new concept, Nissan finally debuted the Gripz concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Blending a radical exterior design along with a hybrid powertrain, the crossover concept was made by designers in Europe and Japan as a way to marry the practicality of a crossover and the performance of a sports car.
Drawing inspiration from the Safari Rally-winning 240Z of the 1970s, the Gripz concept features design elements from the Sway concept that debuted during this year's Geneva Motor Show. Up front it has the brand's V-Motion grill and boomerang headlights.
The side on the other hand features a kicked-up C-pillar, distinct 3-spoke 22-inch alloys, extended wheel arches and a unique door configuration; butterfly doors at the front and suicide doors at the rear. The rear also carries boomerang-shaped taillights, a diffuser-integrated bumper, dual exhausts and a black tailgate.
Size-wise, the crossover concept measures 4,100mm long, 1,890mm wide, 1,500mm tall and has a wheelbase measurement of 2,580mm. Underneath the black-red exterior is a lightweight carbon fiber frame that was inspired from modern racing bicycles.
While the exterior was designed in Europe, the cabin was wholly made in Japan. Finished in an orange-gray theme, the interior was thought up with 'functional simplicity' according to Nissan. Taking inspiration from Tour de France, the cabin has exposed tubes, molded bucket seats and door pulls that resemble saddles of race bicycles. The steering wheel on the other hand mimics the alloy wheels and even has the special graphics from the tire sidewalls.
Like the Sway concept and more recent Nissan vehicles, it has the 'Gliding Wing' instrument panel that seamlessly blends the simplicity and strength of the concept according to Nissan.
Providing power for the Gripz concept is a hybrid powertrain that is also found on the Nissan Leaf. No output figures were revealed though it is comprised of a gasoline engine and an electric motor that will be able to deliver 'smooth, swift and linear acceleration in near-silence with supreme efficiency' according to Nissan.
Nissan stated that the concept is more of a design statement rather than a replacement for an existing model, though given its unique crossover styling, this may be the prelude to the next-gen Nissan Juke.