Automakers are lifting the curtain on quite a few models ahead of their intended previews at the 2012 Paris Motor Show later this month. This time it is Nissan’s turn as it shows off the the TeRRA zero emissions SUV concept.
“Our challenge was to take Nissan’s strength in SUVs and crossovers forward into the zero-emissions era, fuel cells being our new frontier in zero emission mobility” said Francois Bancon, Nissan’s devision general manager of product strategy and planning. “Not big and tough for the desert, the aim was a new approach to SUVs that’s relevant to urban life. The unique diagonal seating layout that offers an exciting driving experience thanks to exceptional visibility that creates a sense of being in control under any conditions.”
Nissan will unveil TeRRA Sept. 27 as a futuristic SUV that combines what the automaker has learned in the fields of sport utes and electrics demonstrating to tomorrow’s youthful “always on” consumers the two segments can coexist in one vehicle.
TeRRA design elements include big tires, a high belt line, thick pillars, and thin side windows combined with a slender waist, pronounced fenders, and a sculpted hood – think Nissan Juke and LEAF have a steroidal love child. Nissan calls it “Modern Toughness.”
The TeRRA concept uses a blend of EV and fuel cell technology for propulsion as the current LEAF-style electric motor powers the front wheels of the vehicle with Nissan’s newest hydrogen fuel cell stack providing energy to get the rear wheels turning, thus eliminating any driveshaft under the center of the body.
Inside the TeRRA, designers used a blend of wood and metal to provide a sense of security with warmth and the instrument cluster resembles a modern electronic tablet that doubles as a sort of “intelligent key” that the driver docks and undocks each time they use the vehicle. When docked, the tablet displays all vital vehicle information with comfort and convenience controls a fingertip touch – or swipe – away.
Seating is for four in TeRRA with an offset almost diagonal layout as the drivers sits front and nearly center ahead of the two rear seat occupants, allowing all passengers to share the vision of what lies ahead.
While Nissan is quick to remind that TeRRA is purely a concept vehicle they also say it signals the automaker is ready to bring fuel cell vehicles to the market as soon as the infrastructure catches up and hydrogen fuel becomes widely available for consumers.