Nissan TeRRA SUV Concept - 2012
Nissan is using this year’s Paris Auto Show to showcase the TeRRA sport-utility concept, a vehicle that combines the Japanese automaker’s expertise with electric vehicles, such as the zero emission Leaf hatchback, along with its lineup of compact and urban-themed SUVs. Thanks to a powertrain consisting of electric motors mated to a hydrogen fuel cell stack under the hood, the Nissan TeRRA offers a tantalizing hint at what Nissan could have in store for future generations of EVs. The exterior design – including the lowered greenhouse, smooth front fascia and exaggerated fenders – also suggest what to expect on future versions of the Juke and Rogue (Qashqai in European markets) crossovers.
Future EV Meets Concept Car GlitzSome details of the Nissan TeRRA, including its staggered seating arrangement and organically shaped wooden dashboard, are typical concept car razzle-dazzle. The instrument display has been simplified down to a removable tablet-sized data panel, mounted ahead of a rectangular-shaped steering wheel – perhaps this means no more waiting outside the Apple store for the next iPad? Yet even more significant than the shape and style of the TeRRA is what’s lurking beneath its bright-white bodywork. "Our challenge was to take Nissan's strength in SUVs and crossovers forward into the zero-emissions era, fuel cells being our new frontier in zero emission mobility," said Francois Bancon, Nissan's division general manager of product strategy and planning.
Nissan says the TeRRA’s four-wheel-drive zero emission powertrain is “far from imaginary,” though production hinges upon hydrogen becoming “widely available” at some point. Under the hood of the TeRRA is a compact fuel cell that, according to Nissan, is now one-sixth the price of the system’s 2005 predecessor. Powering the front wheels is the same electric motor found in the current Nissan Leaf while, providing extra power and grip when needed, two in-wheel electric motors are located at the back. While strictly a concept, the TeRRA SUV proves Nissan’s strategy for EVs stretches many years down the road.