The Nissan Gripz concept has been given its full debut at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show and points to a potential Z-branded SUV.
After teasers and rumours, the Gripz concept finally made its debut at this year’s Frankfurt show. Nissan says that this “dual personality” show car has the “silhouette of a sports car with a raised ride height [and is] equipped to conquer more challenging driving conditions”.
Primary inspiration for the Gripz comes from the highly modified 240Z racers that won the 1971 and 1973 Safari Rally, which took place in Kenya, Uganda and modern-day Tanzania.
Using the contemporary 240Z as its basis, these rally cars were equipped with raised ride height and toughened suspension components.
The Gripz features a black and deep orange/red paint scheme that’s said to mimic the livery of those Safari Rally-winning 240Z race cars.
According to Nissan, the Gripz employs a series hybrid drivetrain that mates together an efficient petrol engine with the 80kW/254Nm electric motor from the Leaf. No performance figures have been provided, but the company promises a “smooth, refined and exhilarating driving experience with outstanding fuel efficiency”.
While its body style and drivetrain bear little resemblance to any production Z-car, the new Gripz is around the same length (4100mm) as the original Datsun 240Z (4140mm).
Measuring 1890mm wide, 1500mm tall and riding on a 2580mm wheelbase, the Gripz dwarfs the 240Z’s 1626mm width, 1283mm height and 2305mm wheelbase.
Inside, the Gripz seats four people within individual bucket seats.
Entry to the back seats comes courtesy of rear-hinged rear doors, and ingress and egress is said to be aided by the car’s lack of a B-pillar.
A report last month indicated that Nissan is seriously considering to replacing the rear-wheel drive 370Z with a Z-badged small, sporty crossover vehicle.
The report’s source said that Nissan would have a concept car at the Frankfurt motor show designed along that theme, and which would serve as a prelude to a production vehicle.