Monday, September 21, 2015
Nissan Gripz Concept is the Modern Day Safari Rally 240Z
What do you get when you decide to modernize the iconic Safari Rally-winning Nissan 240Z? The new Gripz Concept. Presented as a design study at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Gripz Concept blends the ability and practicality of a compact crossover with the excitement and performance of a sports car.
Although it dimensionally resembles a typical compact crossover, Nissan designers have decided to give the Gripz Concept the silhouette of a sports car with a raised ride height. Again, this pays homage to the Nissan 240Z which were re-engineered in the 1970’s to compete on the demanding plains of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The Gripz Concept features cues from Nissan’s new “emotional geometry” design language. This has four key features: the V-motion grille, boomerang front and rear lamps, a floating roof, and a kicked-up C-pillar. The Gripz Concept is designed by Nissan’s European design studio with help from Japan. Other unique design cues include deep front dihedral doors that swing out and rear-hinged half doors. With no B-pillar, it allows easy access to the rear quarters.
Inside, the 2+2 cabin features a very simple and straight-forward design. It’s a mix of matte gray and orange highlights that underlines an inspiration found in road bikes, particularly the Tour de France as seen on the exposed tubes and molded bucket seats. The Gripz Concept also has a ‘Gliding Wing’ instrument panel—a design cue found in Nissan’s newer offerings.
Despite being just a mere design study, Nissan engineers have presented a unique take on a hybrid system which could make its way to future production models. Combining the Leaf’s electric motor with a small petrol engine that charges the batteries, the Gripz Concept becomes an extended range EV that develops 107 horsepower and 254 Nm of torque.