Nissan Wants to Replace the Z With a Crossover Inspired by a Pedal Bike [Video]

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

The Nissan Gripz Concept is what we all feared. The pseudo two-door vehicle, which takes inspiration from a bicycle, is the result of Nissan’s designers wanting to create “something free of conventional standards” — which is a crossover, apparently.

Executive Design Director, Mamoru Aoki, says Nissan has “a history of pioneering new crossovers.” Nissan also has a history of creating sports cars. This is where the two might, quite unfortunately for us, collide.

“The traditional two-seater sports car is evolving and this is our interpretation of its future,” said Senior Creative Design Manager Giovanny Arroba in the video showing the Gripz attacking a city in ruins.

Nissan used their racing cars from the ’70s as an inspiration, with its long hood and sleek silhouette, in addition to the aforementioned road bike. However, it’s those road bike influences that structure the look of the interior and turn holding a steering wheel into a pseudo bicycle tire-changing exercise.

Under the hood isn’t any better for purists. The Gripz concept is powered by Nissan’s “Pure Drive” e-Power series hybrid system, the combination of a gas engine paired with the electric motor from the Nissan Leaf. Goodbye, VQ37 V-6.

And if there is one more nail in the coffin for the Z car as we know it, it’s this line:

This configuration delivers smooth, swift and linear acceleration in near-silence, with supreme efficiency.

The days of attainable sports cars at Nissan are over.

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  • Kmars2009 Kmars2009 on Sep 16, 2015

    SUV/Crossover sport design 2 door. Historically, 2 door SUV or CUV's tend to not sell. Isuzu Vehicross? Even the new Range Rover Evoq 2 door is a poor seller. In fact, I have yet to see one on the road. Other coupe AWD sport vehicles, like the Subaru SVX had to be killed. Although, it tried it's best. The Juke sells because it has 4 doors...anything else is simply a waste. PS. Just keep the current formula for the Z. It's part of it's appeal.

  • Giuseppe_78626 Giuseppe_78626 on Sep 17, 2015

    I'm not adverse to the idea of a coupe inspired crossover, but the execution and design of the gripz is dreadful. The video nearly made me gag, but at least we now know who's responsible for this mess. The fact that they openly admit they cribbed key industrial design elements from another vehicle (bicycle) is disappointing and points to a lack of originality. Volvo Concept XC Coupe, Audi Nanuk Quattro, and Subaru Cross Sport Concept were all much better designs.

  • Wolfwagen I would rather have an annual inspection that may catch something early or at least the driver can be informed of an impending issue. Government vs private is another issue and unscrupulous mechanics is another.On a slightly different topic is the inspection of salvage or rebuilt cars. In NYS it is strictly to ensure that stolen parts were not used to rebuild the vehicle. I would rather see an inspection to ensure that the vehicle has been properly put back together.
  • PeterPuck For years, Ford has simply reworked existing designs originating from Europe and Japanese manufacturers, not being capable of designing a decent car in the USA.What’s the last clean sheet design from the USA? The 1986 Taurus?And they still can’t manage to get things right.why is this? Are they putting all of the competent engineers and designers on the F150? Is woke diversification affecting them, as some rumours suggest? Are they rewarding incompetence?
  • Brandon What is a "city crossover"?
  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).