By on September 12, 2012

You can tell immediately that it is a concept: It has suicide doors. Nissan will show the fuel-cell propelled TeRRA SUV concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show that opens on September 27.

“Our challenge was to take Nissan’s strength in SUVs 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 SUVs that’s relevant to urban life.”

“We took our inspiration from the lifestyles of youthful customers in Northern Europe,” said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan senior vice president and chief creative officer. Apparently, he referred to polar bears.

The instrument cluster is an electronic tablet that 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. Outside the car it provides all the functions we expect from a tablet, plus it stays continually in touch with the vehicle.

According to Nissan, the proposed 4×4 fuel cell electric powertrain “is far from imaginary.”

The front wheel propulsion system is from the LEAF. In each back wheel is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the PIVO concepts. The juice comes from Nissan’s proprietary hydrogen fuel cell stack. According to Nissan, the company “is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available.” By that time, the car should have proper doors.

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