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.

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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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.

  • Glennbk Please Mitsubishi, no more rebranded Nissan products.
  • Wolfwagen What I never see when they talk about electric trucks is how much do these things weigh and how much does that detract from the cargo-carrying capacity?
  • Wolfwagen I dont know how good the Triton is but if they could get it over here around the $25K - $30K They would probably sell like hotcakes. Make a stripped down version for fleet sales would also help
  • 3SpeedAutomatic You mentioned that Mitsubishi cars had lost their character. Many brands are losing that that element as well. GM is giving up on the ICE Camaro and Dodge on the ICE Challenger. There goes the Bad Boy image. Might as well get your teeth pulled and dentures put in place. Would like to see a few EVOs with cherry bomb exhaust and true 4 cylinder BIG blower turbos; 4 wheel drift capacity is mandatory!!🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos Here in my overseas summer palace, I filled up my tank twice in May, at 68 and 52 euros (a full 90+ liter tank fillup has taken 130-135 Euros in the past, and I am 23 miles from downtown here, while only 1-2 miles in the US)Still, diesel here is MUCH cheaper than gas. Yesterday, I paid 1,488 a liter while gas was at least 1,899 (regular).Multiply by almost 4 for gallons AND by an additional 1.1 for $.