The Nissan TeRRA concept was unveiled at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The concept was a compact SUV powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with three electric motors providing power to all four wheels.
The Nissan TeRRA concept builds on the company’s experience in manufacturing crossover vehicles like the Juke and Quashqai, as well as their more recent endeavours in developing electric cars like the Nissan LEAF. Although just a concept for now, the Nissan TeRRA concept is aimed at younger consumers who want a functional and flexible vehicle which also offers a modicum of off-road capability coupled with an eco-friendly drivetrain.
“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 tires, 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’.”
On the inside the Nissan TeRRA offers a unique instrument panel. Basically it’s a tablet PC which also serves as an “intelligent key”. The driver docks it into the car when entering and removes it when leaving. Nissan clearly think we’ll all have 10″ pockets on our giant futuristic pants. The tablet displays speed and other information but the driver can easily switch to entertainment, communications, navigation and other views. Outside the car it acts as a normal tablet, plus it stays continually in touch with the vehicle so the driver knows its status.
As well as a unique instrument display the TeRRA also has a unique interior layout. The driver sits front and almost centre in a diagonal layout that positions rear passengers over the shoulders of those in front, rather than directly behind. “For the driver to be nearly centred, not seated off to one side, provides a fresh, enlightened perspective with exceptional visibility,” Nakamura said. “The diagonal layout allows all passengers to share the vision of adventures up ahead.”
Powering the front wheels of the Nissan TeRRA is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the Nissan LEAF. In each back wheel, providing all-wheel power as needed, is an in-wheel electric motor, based on the working prototypes featured in three successive PIVO concepts. As no drive shafts are required to power the rear wheels, there is no hump in the floor or on the underbody allowing for increased interior space.