I am not one to typically get too excited for a crossover, but the Gripz may just change that for me. Today, at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Nissan has officially revealed its sporty crossover to the world, and it is more impressive than I thought it would be.
The design of the Gripz is unlike most sporty crossovers, as it has proportions that actually mimic those of a sports car, albeit a lifted-up one. The Gripz draws some of its styling cues from the Sway concept, like the V-motion grille, boomerang headlights and taillights, and floating roof, but Nissan tweaked it enough to set it apart. Features like the carbon-fiber air outlets behind the front wheels, the butterfly-style front doors and suicide rear doors, red-and-black color scheme, and raked rear glass all give it a sharp look that some may think is a tad overstyled.
In terms of size, the Gripz is pretty compact. It measures 4,100 mm long (161.4 inches) long, 1,890 mm (74.4 inches) wide, and 1,500 mm (59.1 inches) tall. This small body rides atop a 2,580 mm (101.6-inch) long wheelbase. A set of 22-inch wheels surprisingly fit this compact footprint well.
The Gripz’s cabin is equally as stylish and simple as the body. It features exposed carbon-fiber elements throughout that add more sportiness to the mix, while its 2+2 seating arrangement also enhances the sporting nature of this crossover. The interior drew a lot of inspiration from road-racing bicycles, which is demonstrated by the seats and center console, which are styled after a bike’s seat.
Nissan is laying low on the powertrain under the hood of the Gripz concept. It did, however, announce that series hybrid powertrain that uses a gasoline generator to power the same electric motor found in the Leaf. I certainly hope that Nissan tweaked the Leaf’s motor a bit before installing it in this concept, as its standard 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque is nothing to write home about.
There is no mention of intentions to release the Gripz in the future, but with rumors of a crossover Z car in the works, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this concept inspire said rig. What’s more, the video that accompanied the press release (below) mentions that sporty crossovers are set to replace two-seat sports cars in the future.