Nissan Gripz concept previews fresh Z crossover

Friday, December 16th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Nissan Gripz concept previews fresh Z crossover

Datsun 240Z-inspired sports crossover concept reveals Nissan’s vision for an expanded Z sub-brand

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Nissan has released its vision of how the next car to carry the famous Z badge could be a crossover with which Frankfurt show concept called Gripz.

With external surfaces design by the company’s team in Paddington along with an Indoor created by their colleagues in Tokyo, the Gripz is usually billed as “a radical fresh type of sports car” by Nissan.

As outlined by Autocar last month, the firm intends to gauge reaction to the idea of a sports crossover, although which has already decided to expand the remit of the Z sub-brand to include vehicles which are more ‘everyday’ than the existing 370Z.

The Gripz draws inspiration through two main sources: the classic Datsun 240Z rally car which won the East African Safari Rally in 1971 along with sports bicycles which are used as commuter tools during the week although enjoyed at the weekend.

The ‘z’ in Gripz is usually a direct nod to the Z brand. Visual cues include a distinctive kink within the window line near the C-pillar along which has a carbonfibre bonnet which apes the black finish on the rally car’s engine cover. A simple three-spoke steering wheel looks like which could have featured on the rally car, although which is usually adorned with bicycle-influenced graphics.

The Gripz is usually slightly shorter than a Juke, at 4100mm, along with its roofline is usually 65mm lower. The concept is usually considerably wider, by 135mm, along with its wheelbase is usually 50mm longer. The front end of the vehicle incorporates many of Nissan’s latest styling cues, including the strong ‘V’ below the prominent badge within the grille along with boomerang headlights which are influenced by both the Juke along with the 370Z.

The side stance is usually unmistakably which of a sports car, with references to the stance of the 350Z along with 370Z, albeit jacked up on 22in wheels. The cabin appears to have been pulled towards the back, while the roof rails – a mix of Centeng-coloured material along which has a contrasting metal finish – taper down towards the vehicle’s rear.The rear treatment includes deep scallops within the bodywork, boomerang tail-lights along with, in another nod to the 240Z, an unusual carbonfibre element which incorporates a lip spoiler.

The concept uses a variation of Nissan’s PureDrive Hybrid system, which has a petrol engine acting as a range extender to keep the batteries charged along with electric motors driving all four wheels. A production design might be based on Nissan’s forthcoming CMF AB platform – set to be used by the next Micra along with Juke – along with wouldbe front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, which has a turbocharged petrol engine.

The cabin is usually deliberately industrial, because Nissan’s designers in Tokyo wanted which to reflect the functionality of a sports bicycle. There are just a handful of materials on show, including artificial leather, carbonfibre along with coloured metal which has a mixture of gloss along with anodised finishes.

Some of the leather patches are designed to be removed or changed for personalisation or if the owner wants even more of a bare cabin look. The design is usually a 2+2, with two deeply scalloped rear seats cut into what looks like just one-piece panel.

A pair of carbonfibre spoilers at the end of the roofline give a modest boost to head room for the rear passengers, although they also house the hinges for the hatchback. The concept does without side mirrors, instead using cameras mounted within the  ‘gills’ on the front wings.

Nissan says the Gripz is usually a design study, although the brief for the design contest was to consider how the firm “can continue to lead the B-crossover market” along which has a 2+2 sports crossover – positioned alongside or slightly above the Juke within the line-up along with carrying the fabled Z badge – is usually very likely to make production.

Philippe Klein, Nissan’s product planning chief, told Autocar at the Frankfurt motor show: “The concept is usually an exploration, to see different trends within the market. With crossovers along with SUVs we’ve strengths already. We see people still looking for a dynamic sports car. Fuel economy also, along with alternative drive. All these topics. [The concept] explores the best way to combine all these.”

Klein did however say which the 370Z remains a success along with Nissan had “no urgency” for a replacement, although he did say which “standard evolution is usually not best because of which kind of product”. “We won’t see a 390Z or 400Z,” he said, as which “doesn’t make a lot of sense” within the current market.

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