Nissan revealed its Gripz crossover concept in Frankfurt, and while it may not be the Z car replacement some thought it might be, Nissan says it gives a “glimpse of how a future compact crossover” from the brand might look.
At 161.4 inches long, 74.4 inches wide, and 59.1 inches tall, the Gripz is similar in size to the current Juke. One obvious difference is that the Gripz has two full doors and two half doors instead of the Juke’s four traditional doors. Nissan calls the concept a 2+2 crossover, which is apt given the raked roofline and four individual bucket seats. Still, the Gripz bears some resemblance to the Juke from some angles, and could hint at what we might see on the next-gen model.
As we learned previously, the Gripz draws inspiration both from the Datsun 240Z Baja race cars of the 1970s and road racing bicycles. Nissan also says the Gripz is an evolution of the design language first seen on the Sway concept that debuted in Geneva earlier this year. Looking at the Gripz’ low-slung profile, the Z-inspired styling elements become clear. The sloping roofline, long dash-to-axle ratio, and red and black color scheme all hint at traces of sports car DNA. Meanwhile, the concept’s unseen carbon fiber frame and more visible carbon exterior accents are cues taken from racing bikes, according to Nissan. The 22-inch three-spoke wheels are also nods to bicycle racing. The Gripz features front doors that swing upward. Those unique wing-like pieces along with rear-hinged half doors and no B-pillar make for easier access into the cabin.
In true modern concept fashion, the Gripz relies on an electrified drivetrain. Nissan doesn’t give detailed specs, but the concept is apparently an extended-range EV, using a gasoline engine to power an electric motor from the Nissan Leaf.
Though the Gripz may not be a Z crossover, the design language seen here could influence the next-gen Z car. In the nearer term, you can expect to see some of these styling elements on a future Nissan production crossover.