Nissan has revealed a new hybrid-powered concept car which points to a new future for the marque.
The Japanese carmaker says the Gripz concept is seen as a design statement rather than a replacement for an existing model, although it does feature cues from Nissan’s new ‘emotionalgeometry’ design language.
The concept car incorporates four key design elements first seen in Europe on the Nissan Sway at this year’s Geneva motor show. As with the Sway, the Gripz features a V-motion grille, boomerang lamps front and rear, a floating roof and a kicked-up C pillar.
The designers say the exterior also pays homage to one of Nissan’s first ‘crossovers’ – the Safari Rally-winning Datsun 240Z. Back in the 1970s these desert rally cars were re-engineered using expertise gathered from the company’s 4×4 range to cope with the conditions of the Baja Peninsula, the open plains of Kenya, Uganda and present day Tanzania. The rally racers featured a raised ride height, toughened suspension and sported a matt-black finish for the bonnet and trunk set against a deep red-orange body colour.
The car’s interior design, meanwhile, has been inspired by racing bicycles and gets a ‘Tour de France’ look with exposed tubes, moulded bucket seats and layered features echoing the cladding effect found on the exterior. A mix of matt-grey and the deep red-orange colours also mirror the exterior.
The seats and centre console are directly inspired by bicycles, as are the door pulls that are shaped like saddles from a racing bike. The three-spoke steering wheel, meanwhile, replicates the car’s three-spoke 22-inch wheels, right down to the graphics found on the tyre sidewalls.
Like the Sway concept and recent production cars, the Gripz has a ‘Gliding Wing’ instrument panel.
Created through collaboration between Nissan Design Europe in London and Nissan Global Design Center in Japan, the new concept car most likely hints at a future Z-badged compact crossover.