New Concept From Nissan the TeRRA a New Zero Emission SUV
Nissan are to unveil the TeRRA SUV concept at the Paris Motor Show on the 27th September. This new concept combines two of Nissan’s strength’s SUV’s and EV’s.
The TeRRA is sure to take motoring into exciting new territories with it’s 4×4 fuel-cell electric power-train, athletic exterior and compact dimensions. Nissan has already had huge success with crossovers like the Juke and Qashqai. They also had EV success with the LEAF, the TeRRA now shows that Nissan’s zero-emission expertise goes onto fuel cells too.
“Our challenge was to take Nissan’s strength in SUV’s and crossovers forward into the zero-emissions era, fuel cells being our new frontier in zero emission mobility,” said Francois Bancon, Nissan’s division general manager of product strategy and planning. “Not big and tough for the desert, the aim was a new approach to SUV’s that’s relevant to urban life. The unique diagonal seating layout that offers an exciting driving experience thanks to exceptional visibility that creates a sense of being in control under any conditions.”
“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 tyres, high belt-line, thick pillars and thin side windows of the SUV vocabulary. But with a slender waist and a sculptured bonnet, 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 colour, protecting the full length of the underside, completes the image of what we call ‘Modern Toughness’.
The interior is unexpectedly warm and welcoming compared to its tough exterior. Its door panels are sculpted with a fusion of blond wood trim and a coloured acrylic which has been layered in a pattern. The cabin has a metal frame at shoulder height that gives it a feeling of security. The wood and metal contrast theme continues across the dashboard. The driver’s side steering and instrument console gently tapers out towards the driver barely interrupting the dashes clean lines.
The driver also has a very unique instrument cluster, its an electronic tablet which isn’t dislike today’s most popular portable devices, this serves as an “intelligent key”. The driver docks it when entering the car and removes when leaving. When the instrument is docked in the TeRRA it displays speed and other information that the driver can easily toggle to entertainment, communications, navigation and other views.
The TeRRA has a unique diagonal layout, the driver sits front and almost centre that positions rear passengers over the shoulders of those in front, rather than directly behind.
The seats have a hexagonal motif which is carried on through various aspects of the design, also when the three passenger seats are down the TeRRA’s boot floor is completely flat which presents no obstacles when carrying bikes or any large objects.
The TeRRA is presented purely as a design concept, not a technical exhibit but its proposed 4×4 fuel cell electric power-train is far from imaginary. Powering the front wheels is electric propulsion system which was featured in the Nissan LEAF, each of the back wheels, are provided with all-wheel power as needed, with an in-wheel electric motor, this was passed on through working prototypes, featured in three successive PIVO concepts.
Under the TeRRA’s bonnect is ample space for Nissan’s hydrogen fuel cell stack. This is Nissan’s latest fuel cell since 1996, this stack costs just one sixth of its 2005 predecessor, as the need for expensive precious metals has been reduced to one quarter of its previous level.
At the moment the TeRRA is simply a concept car, but it does show that Nissan are ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles, when Hydrogen does become more widely available.