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Gripz is Nissan's Frankfurt star. Image by Nissan.

Gripz is Nissan's Frankfurt star
Nissan Gripz concept inspired by cycling could inform future showroom product design.
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What's all this about?

Let's off-road! And, er, on-road. As this is the Nissan Gripz concept crossover vehicle from Frankfurt, a vehicle the Japanese carmaker has been teasing a lot in the build-up to the motor show.

Is it going to make production?

No, not like this. Seriously, scissor and suicide doors? On a production car? Also, three-spoke 22-inch alloy wheels... yep, this is show stand stuff only. However, Nissan (rightly) considers itself a pioneer in the crossover segment and says this vehicle 'points to an innovative new future for the marque'. So while it might not be the next Juke, it could be a Z-meets-SUV crossover, in the way brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have made coupé SUVs that are supposedly sharper to drive than their regular counterparts.

So what was the inspiration for the Gripz?

The old Datsun 240Z, as used on the Safari Rally in Kenya in the 1970s; it was a fun sports car that was high-riding, you see. And bicycles. No, really. Nissan says riders often cycle to work on the same bike that they then take out for a proper, post-work strop later in the day. So the Gripz is supposed to be an urban animal for the grind of commuting, as well as a sports car for those empty, mountain roads we're always hearing about.

Is that why I can see lots of things shaped like saddles inside?

Yes indeed, in an interior that looks like something out of Judge Dredd (the 1995 Sly Stallone flick), the door pulls and the centre console shapes are styled as such. All the exposed metal in there is supposed to make you think of a bike's frame, as well.

And how about the outside?

More of a sporty theme, as the exposed carbon frame peeks through an assortment of 'expressive' body panels draped over the top. With a V-motion front grille, boomerang-shaped lights, a floating roof with a kicked-up C-pillar and that dramatic Kamm tail in matte black, the overall look is hugely appealing, we must say. Although not like any bicycle we've ever seen. There are cameras in the front lights, however, to record everything like the equipment found on a cyclist's helmet.

And what about the power?

The electric motor from the Leaf EV is supplemented by a small petrol engine in what Nissan terms 'Pure Drive e-Power'. Nissan deigns not to say anything else specific about performance, emissions and economy.

Is that all that's on Nissan's stand at Frankfurt?

No, the company - among many other machines - also had an all-new Navara pick-up truck, a more powerful version of the Leaf and a Nismo Track Edition version of the R35 GT-R.

Matt Robinson - 15 Sep 2015

Earlier articles featuring 2015 Nissan Gripz

2015-09-11: Nissan gets to Gripz with the Frankfurt show
2015-09-07: Nissan teases a sporty crossover

2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Newspress.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Newspress.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Newspress.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Newspress.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Newspress.

2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Newspress.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Nissan.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Nissan.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Nissan.2015 Nissan Gripz concept. Image by Nissan.    - Nissan road tests
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