Is this a glimpse of how the latest model produced by Sunderland’s Nissan plant will look?
The car giant announced earlier this month that the factory was to produce a new version of the highly-successful Juke crossover.
Now the company has unveiled a new concept car at the Frankfurt motor show which fits the bill for the new-look Juke.
Conceived by designers in Europe and Japan, Nissan says the Gripz Concept ‘blends the ability and practicality of a compact crossover with the excitement and performance of a sports car.’
The raised ride height pays homage to one of Nissan’s first ‘crossovers’ - the Safari Rally-winning Nissan 240Z.
In the 1970s these sports cars were re-engineered using expertise gathered from Nissan’s 4x4 range to cope with the demanding conditions of the Baja Peninsula, the open plains of Kenya, Uganda and present day Tanzania.
Nissan has gone out of its way to emphasis the Gripz is not the new Juke, but with the reveal coming less than a fortnight after the production announcement, there is bound to be speculation over how closely the final model will resemble the concept.
“Nissan pioneered the idea of the compact crossover, and this is reflected in the enormous popularity of Qashqai and Juke and the resulting growth of the market segment as other manufacturers play catch-up,” said Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer.
“While the Nissan Gripz Concept is not seen as a direct replacement for either of those two iconic vehicles, it does show the extremes to which the compact crossover can be pushed.”
The concept car was created through collaboration between Nissan Design Europe in London and Nissan Global Design Centre in Japan, with the exterior created in Europe and a dedicated team in Japan designing the interior.
Nissan pioneered the idea of the compact crossover, and this is reflected in the enormous popularity of Qashqai and Juke and the resulting growth of the market segment as other manufacturers play catch-up.Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer