Set to debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, the TeRRA Concept represents Nissan’s vision of the Zero Emission Vehicles of the future, targeted to tomorrow’s youthful, “always on” consumers.
The vehicle’s proportions and stance are characterized by the high waist-line, large wheels, narrow DLO and horizontal roofline.
In side view, the mostdistinctive design elements are the sculpted shoulders, which hint at a X-shaped graphic.
The same theme is carried over at the front – where the straight, angular lines are contrasted by the circular fog lights – and at the rear end.
“We took our inspiration from the lifestyles of youthful customers in Northern Europe,” said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan senior vice president and chief creative officer.
“We heard their aspiration for sustainable mobility that can take them anywhere they want to go.”
“Exploring our imagination of that natural space with the exterior, we have redefined the power of the SUV heritage in a much more athletic way, one that expresses our vision of the zero emissions future,” Nakamura said.
“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.
“Sharp corners, short overhangs and sculptured lamps contribute to a clean, confident stance. An aerodynamically flat body pan in an eye-catching color, protecting the full length of the underside, completes the image of what we call ‘Modern Toughness.’”
“For the driver to be nearly centered, not seated off to one side, provides a fresh, enlightened perspective with exceptional visibility,” Nakamura said. “The diagonal layout allows all passengers to share the vision of adventures up ahead.”
The door panel is a sculpted fusion of blond wood trim and colored acrylic, layered in an intriguing pattern.
Ringing the cabin at shoulder height is a metal frame that gives TeRRA’s occupants a feeling of security.
The wood/metal contrast continues across the dashboard, a beechwood-acrylic fusion that exudes a soft warmth.
The instrument cluster is an electronic tablet that also serves as an “intelligent key.” The driver docks it when entering the car and removes it when leaving.
When docked in TeRRA, the tablet’s default view displays speed and other key performance indicators. But the driver can easily toggle to entertainment, communications, navigation and other views.
The seats themselves express a hexagonal motif that is carried through various aspects of the design.
The three passenger seats can be folded down to form a completely flat cabin deck, which allows to easily carry bikes, kayaks or large loads.
This flat surface is a function of the remarkably compact powertrain package that creates the possibility of this zero-emission concept.
Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the Nissan LEAF.
In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the working prototypes featured in three successive PIVO concepts.
As no drive shafts are required to power the rear wheels, there is no hump in the cabin floor or on the underbody. This allows for the flat cabin deck and the underside bodypan.
Under the hood is ample space for Nissan’s proprietary hydrogen fuel cell stack: a flat, highly compact unit that features world-leading power density of 2.5kW/L.
The latest in a series of Nissan fuel cells since 1996, the stack costs just one-sixth of its 2005 predecessor as the need for expensive precious metals has been slashed to one-quarter of the previous level.
According to the company, the TeRRA Concept “signals that Nissan is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available.”