Nissan Gripz Concept is a Radical Sports Crossover

Nissan Gripz Concept is a Radical Sports Crossover

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
29 Sep 2015

The result pays homage to one of Nissan’s first ‘crossovers’ - the iconic Safari Rally-winning Nissan 240Z. In the 1970s these sports cars were re-engineered using expertise gathered from Nissan’s 4x4 range to cope with the demanding conditions of the Baja Peninsula, the open plains of Kenya, Uganda and present day Tanzania. These 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 Nissan 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 ‘emotional geometry’ design language. The Crossover concept incorporates four key design elements first seen in Europe on the Nissan Sway, one of the stars of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. As with Sway, Gripz features a V-motion grille, boomerang lamps front and rear, a floating roof and a kicked-up C pillar. However, the similarities end there. While Sway hinted at a possible direction for a compact hatchback, the Nissan Gripz Concept is quite the different proposition.

Exposed carbon elements spear through the design, accentuating features such as the boomerang-shape given to the leading edge of the front door structure. Gripz 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.

Embedded in the lamps are forward-facing cameras that record every journey, just as a helmet-cam is used by cyclists. Using a live feed, adventures through great roads can be beamed around the world, allowing for friends to follow the car’s progress on their computer, tablet or smart phone in real time. Boomerang-shaped running lights sit above the lamps, on top of the front fenders and denote the demarcation line between the matt-black bonnet and the red-orange main body colour.

The three-spoke 22-inch wheels are also inspired by racing bicycles - lightweight yet strong wearing comparatively thin high-pressure tyres, especially constructed for the concept by Bridgestone. Red and white graphics found on the sidewalls are replicated on the car’s steering wheel.

While the exterior was created in Europe, a dedicated team based in Japan designed the interior. Like the exterior, functional simplicity is the key to the design. Again featuring a mix of matt-grey and the deep red-orange colours, the interior underlines the car’s Tour de France inspiration with exposed tubes, moulded bucket seats and layered features echoing the cladding effect found on 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 road wheels, right down to the special graphics found on the tyre sidewalls.

Have a closer look in our gallery.

Credits: Oneshift News Team

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