By on September 15, 2015

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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43 Comments on “Nissan Wants to Replace the Z with a Crossover Inspired by a Pedal Bike [Video]...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Bye bye Z… you were a beautiful thing to behold.

    Yay more CUV garbage on the road. They definitely didn’t have enough models…

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Sure, seems like a reasonable evolution of the Z?

    I do NOT like Nissan’s new front end at all. The hood looks to protrude out from the rest of the front end. Awkward.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    that was a bad idea the Aztek? ohh way, 4 doors. That was the bad part

  • avatar
    cwallace

    You can still see a lot of Z coupe in there. If you dial out a lot of the concept car gingerbread that never actually goes to market, then maybe they could make a proper sports car variant.

    Or it’ll basically just be a more expensive Juke. Because that’s what the world really needs.

    (I’ll leave it to Jack to sculpt an innuendo-laden comment about the name Gripz. Last time I attempted a double entendre I pulled a hamstring and broke the coffee table.)

  • avatar
    WhiskeyRiver

    It looks a lot like the absurd Juke I keep seeing around town rolling on 22’s.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    It’s attractive enough as a Hot Wheels car, but the successor to the Z-car line? God, I feel old.

  • avatar
    Fred

    We have so many UVs now that the only way to make this thing noticeable is to piss off all the Z lovers. That and making it goofy looking.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    That’s it Nissan you’ve lost your final man card and any remaining relevance. Infiniti might be next.

    Real late model Zs will initially lose value and probably gain it back later as/if they become sought after.

    “The traditional two-seater sports car is evolving and this is our interpretation of its future,”

    What is devolution for $400, Alex?

  • avatar
    gasser

    My interpretation of the two seater is any car I am driving, which will have the back seat folded down for my dogs.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Just because your sports car is tall and heavy doesn’t mean they all have to be, Nissan.

  • avatar
    Trauto

    Cringe worthy video.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    You know, as a standalone concept this isn’t that awful. It’s weird, but if someone wanted to buy it, whatever. Let him have his silly “I’m a rally driver” or “I’m riding a bike” thoughts. It’s his money.

    But as a replacement for the Z-car, it’s an atrocity and Nissan should be shunned as an unbeliever for it.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Barf.

    Are crackpipes standard issue in the Nissan styling studios these days?

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Coming from a road biker…I don’t get it. And my Carbon Fiber Italian road bike has far more style, far less weight, and perhaps more HP.

    I don’t just understand the connection to the Z. Just build another crossover, SUV, CUV, whatever. Wouldn’t it be better to just retire the Z for now as you did before and look to bring it back another time?

    • 0 avatar

      I too can’t see the association with a road bicycle except perhaps that the steering wheel resembles at carbon rim. Now, to really see a car influenced by bicycles one should look at old Henry Ford’s Quadricycle! As a former Z owner I agree this vehicle should have another name.

  • avatar
    turf3

    I think the wheels aren’t big enough.

    Need 40″ wheels. Made of special select hardwoods. Since the tires are ultra-ultra-ultra-low profile (I sneer at your 40 series tires, mine are 5 series!) they no longer need to be made using expensive rubber, instead they are steel strips, permanently installed by a simple heat shrinking method.

    In keeping with our new green philosophy, our power plants now range from 1 HP to 20 MTP. Some methane emissions persist, but all other significant emissions are in liquid or solid form. The new solid emissions are easily picked up and disposed of with a shovel.

    When can we get cars and trucks again?

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I don’t see this as a huge surprise. Nissan gave up on doing anything sporty (outside of the GT-R) a long time ago. They stuck a CVT into everything they could, inserted a terrible interior, mushed up the driving dynamics of just about everything they make (the new Mitsubishi?)
    I went into a dealer last winter hoping to catch a bargain on a leftover Quest (no dice) and saw the actual writing on the wall. They posted some sort of sales document for each car they move on the wall; each portion of the showroom was dedicated to a model. Maximas on one wall, Versas on another, etc. Guess what section had the largest wall and the most paper? Yes, Altima–far and away, they moved more Altimas than anything else. I don’t think I even saw a section for 370Z, they probably combined it with Quests and Titans. The thing that kills me is that the Altima is just such a miserable car. I rented one about four years ago and just hated the CVT, the mushy suspension, the cheap interior, etc. I rented another one about two weeks ago and I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two. In fact, when I had to trade out for a Elantra a day later, I can say that without a doubt, the Elantra was far superior in just about every way!
    Nissan is pushing bland and cheap because it is what sells. If you want a thrill, you’ll need to get into a G37 or whatever the hell they renamed it now.
    To say that Nissan has lost it’s mojo is incorrect–they purposefully dumped it.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Welp, the AWD-AWC comes into focus a little bit more, our future. I need to trademark this nomenclature.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    Nissan got into the Choco again.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Looks like the next iteration of the Juke. On the other hand, the door layout, for being so strange, appears incredibly practical in tight parking and easier back seat access.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Nissan/Infiniti are becoming a joke. They are discounting their cars via leases and cash on the hood just to move cars off their lots. Instead of investing in designing a CVT that is not a pos or updating the old V6. They put their money into bigger bumpers and fender flares. They have become the French Japanese connection to GM.

  • avatar
    carguy

    As the former owner of a 240Z, I object to the use of the Z moniker on a crossover.

    However, the idea of a high performance crossover will probably sell. It seems to be all the rage with luxury car makers so why not for the rest of us?

  • avatar
    MT

    FINALLY, an interior that cannot be dusted or cleaned in any meaningful way.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Ugh, quit it with the orange, Nissan. That crap ages poorly. Also the scale on the speedo changes once you get to 100, which is awful.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My G8 had a speedo where the scale changed at 100. I loved it. It allowed for the requisite “DUH THIS GOES HOW FAST?” 180 number at the top end (despite the limiter at 150, of course) while keeping the part of the speedo that mattered legible.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I guess I don’t see the point in it if you’re just going to 180. Audi manages 180 without a scale change.

        http://image.automobilemag.com/f/42190493+w660+h440+q80+re0+cr1+ar0+st0/2012-audi-a8-instrument-gauges.jpg

        And they manage 220 on the R8, no scale change.
        http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/56652446.jpg

        I find scale change to be poor design!

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          There is a scale change on that A8 speedo… just at the other end.

          If marketing dictates that we have to go to 180 on cars that are limited to 150 (or, in the case of my LS, 160 on a car limited to 130), I’d rather have more space available for the speed range that is actually useful. Even if that means a scale change. With the A8 speedo you reference, the useful part of the range in everyday driving (20-90) is crammed into less than a third of the dial and accordingly has poor resolution.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re right, I dunno how I didn’t see that – too focused on the top end I guess. The 0 – 20 on there does indeed have way too much room.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Orange is tough. Although there is an orange McLaren MP-12C in my neighborhood that I drool over every time I see it. I could make do with that car in Orange…

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I have a real Z and its orange (LeMans Sunset)… this “thing” on the other hand is an abomination and should be killed with the heat from 1,000 suns. I literally want to punch someone in the face for attempting to relate it to previous Z cars. That Facebook dislike button can’t come soon enough so I can down-vote this mess a million times.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Nissan is making a very foolish and embarrassing mistake. They are simply trying to squeeze more volume out of a model they deem to be selling less than they would like, which will mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. What will matter is Nissan will have no cool sports car or convertible in North America.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    At least the Lambo Urus looks like a Lambo.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Wow. Does it have a rack for the Pit Bull Hoverboard?

  • avatar
    TNJed

    If you squint your eyes, imagine it lowered and without the huge wheels, fender flares, or multi-colored panels, and forget the hybrid powertrain and the mindbogglingly stupid name, its really not so bad.

  • avatar
    iMatt

    I see way more Cyclocross in this thing than any traces of a road bike design philosophy. Carbon fiber or no…

    And if they actually went that route of branding, I wouldn’t see them as entirely full of S***

  • avatar
    slow_poke

    whoa, this is horrible. for the sake of humanity we need to find the members of all the focus groups they’re going to use and buy them off… some things just shouldn’t see the light of day

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    Seeing as this is the company that gave us the Murano convertible, I shouldn’t be so surprised. This thing is bad.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    The S60 Cross Country’s revenge!

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    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.

  • avatar
    giuseppe_78626

    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.

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