Hydrogen fuel-cell hybrid
Press Release) ZERO EMISSIONS, ZERO LIMITS
fuel cell vehicle opens path to future zero-emission SUV
featuring electric 3-motor AWD
• Compact SUV exterior design expresses athletic eco-appeal with
"Modern Toughness" that's confident off-road or in the city
• Unique seating layout and material fusion set a new paradigm
in SUV category
• Portable instrument cluster creates seamless digital space
PARIS (27 September,
2012) - The Nissan TeRRA SUV concept, to be unveiled on Sep 27th at
the Paris Motor Show, combines two outstanding Nissan strengths -
SUVs and EVs - in a vehicle that is equally in its element off-road
in the wild or gliding silently through a sophisticated urban
setting. With an innovative 4x4 fuel-cell electric powertrain and an
athletic exterior that projects an unforgettable presence beyond its
compact dimensions, TeRRA takes sustainable motoring into exciting
Envisioned as "the one and only Zero Emission SUV," TeRRA builds on
Nissan's success with urban-relevant SUVs and crossovers like Murano
and Qashqai and asserts that its zero-emission expertise extends all
the way to fuel cells. Designed as a functional and flexible choice
for tomorrow's youthful, "always on" consumers, TeRRA answers their
aspiration for eco-friendliness along with a secure driving feel
under any road conditions.
"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
devision general manager of product strategy and planning. "Not big
and tough for the desert, the aim was a new approach to SUVs that's
relevant to urban life. The unique diagonal seating layout that
offers an exciting driving experience thanks to exceptional
visibility that creates a sense of being in control under any
Tough on the outside, warm and
"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 between
pronounced fenders above the wheel arches, and a sculptured hood,
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 color, protecting the full length of the underside,
completes the image of what we call ‘Modern Toughness.'"
Open the door and exterior toughness gives way to a surprisingly
warm and welcoming interior. The door panel is a sculpted fusion of
blond wood trim and colored acrylic, layered in an intriguing
pattern. Ringing the cabin at shoulder height is a metal frame that
gives TeRRA's occupants a feeling of security. The wood/metal
contrast continues across the dashboard, a beechwood-acrylic fusion
that exudes a soft warmth. On the driver's side, the steering and
instrument console gently tapers out toward the driver, barely
interrupting the clean lines of the dash.
Seamless digital space...
Facing the driver is a
unique instrument cluster. It's an electronic tablet - just like
today's popular portable devices - that serves as an "intelligent
key." The driver docks it when entering the car and removes it when
leaving. When docked in TeRRA, the tablet's default view displays
speed and other key performance indicators. But the driver can
easily toggle to entertainment, communications, navigation and other
views. Outside the car it provides all the functions we expect from
a tablet, plus it stays continually in touch with the vehicle. The
idea is seamless information and communication, on the road and
...offers a fresh perspective on
connected driver sits front and almost center in a unique diagonal
layout that positions rear passengers over the shoulders of those in
front, rather than directly behind.
"For the driver to be nearly centered, 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."
The seats themselves express a hexagonal motif that is carried
through various aspects of the design. Fold the three passenger
seats down and you notice that TeRRA's cabin deck is completely
flat, presenting no obstacles to carrying bikes, kayaks... or
assemble-yourself furniture from Scandinavia. This flat surface is a
function of the remarkably compact powertrain package that creates
the possibility of this zero-emission concept.
Power, four-by-four; emissions,
Although TeRRA is
presented as a design concept, not a technical exhibit, its proposed
4x4 fuel cell electric powertrain is far from imaginary.
Powering the front wheels 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 cabin floor or on the underbody. This allows for the
flat cabin deck and the underside bodypan.
Under the hood is ample space for Nissan's proprietary hydrogen fuel
cell stack: a flat, highly compact unit that features world-leading
power density of 2.5kW/L. The latest in a series of Nissan fuel
cells since 1996, the stack costs just one-sixth of its 2005
predecessor as the need for expensive precious metals has been
slashed to one-quarter of the previous level.
TeRRA is purely a concept car, but it signals that Nissan is ready
to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen
becomes widely available.