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Nissan Gripz concept revealed – pays homage to 240Z Safari Rally car

The Nissan Gripz concept has been revealed in full overnight at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but Nissan is coy on what influence it will have on future models.

THE NISSAN GRIPZ SUV concept has been revealed overnight at the Frankfurt Motor Show which, while Nissan’s statement hints at an “innovative new future for the marque” a quote from Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer suggests we shouldn’t get our hopes up. Shame.

“What influence this Concept’s design has on the next crossover generation from Nissan remains to be seen, though we are keen to gauge public reaction when it appears at the Frankfurt Show,” he said.

So, what is the Gripz. Well, it’s an SUV with the look of a sports car, or so Nissan would have you believe. “Conceived by designers in Europe and Japan, the Nissan Gripz Concept blends the ability and practicality of a compact crossover with the excitement and performance of a sports car,” it said.

According to Nissan, the Gripz pays homage to the Nissan (Datsun) 240Z (see picture below), and specifically the Safari Rally version. “In the 1970s these sports cars were re-engineered using expertise gathered from Nissan’s 4×4 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”.

Nissan 240Z Safari Rally car

The Nissan Gripz Concept is a petrol/electric hybrid, using a petrol engine to keep electricity up to the electric motor used in the LEAF.

“Nissan pioneered the idea of the compact crossover, and this is reflected in the enormous popularity of Qashqai and Juke and the resulting growth of the market segment as other manufacturers play catch-up,” Nakamura said.

“While the Nissan Gripz Concept is not seen as a direct replacement for either of those two iconic vehicles, it does show the extremes to which the compact crossover can be pushed.”

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.

The three-spoke 22-inch wheels are 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.

So, what do you think?


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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober