Billed as a showcase for Nissan’s upcoming zero-emissions technology, the TeRRa concept that was unveiled at the Paris Auto Show is also an impressive design study for a future SUV.
Having already being at the forefront of ZEVs with the all-electric Leaf, the Japanese automaker is also investing in other future technologies, such as fuel cells.
A flat, compact hydrogen fuel cell stack that is placed under the bonnet, feeds all three electric motors. According to Nissan, it has a "world-leading" power density of 2.5kW/L and costs just one-sixth of its 2005 predecessor.
Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer, who unveiled the concept, said: “In less than a generation’s time there will be millions of zero-emission vehicles on the road and we will be the leaders when that happens”.
The automaker also stresses that, although the TeRRa is just a design concept, its all-wheel drive fuel cell electric powertrain is “far from imaginary” and will enter production when hydrogen becomes widely available.
Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s senior vice president and chief of design, explained the thinking behind TeRRa’s styling: “You have the big tires, high belt-line, thick pillars and thin side windows of the SUV vocabulary. But with a slender waist between pronounced fenders above the wheel arches and a sculptured hood, we’ve created an ‘Implied Structure’ of musculature under the skin.”
The concept lacks a B-pillar and features “suicide” rear doors, like the Mazda RX-8. The rear seats have been positioned diagonally over the shoulders of the front seats, enhancing rear passengers’ visibility.
The TeRRa replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a detachable electronic tablet, which displays vehicle info when docked and operates like a normal tablet when detached, while still being always “in touch” with the vehicle.
You can watch the official unveiling of the TeRRa concept at the Paris Motor Show where well-known comedian and car nut Jay Leno took an early peek into Nissan's technical center in the videos that follow right after the break.
By Andrew Tsaousis