image source: st.automobilemag.com

Rumors are constantly circulating that the new Z will be a higher-riding crossover and that it will come as a substitute to the 370Z. Nissan hasn’t confirmed anything yet, but they haven’t denied the rumors either.

Nissan Gripz Concept appeared at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show for the first time, and it immediately got clear what the Japanese company wanted from this model.

The concept offered the “silhouette of a sports car with a raised ride height”. The inspiration for this concept vehicle the company found in the winner of 1971 and 193 Safari Rallies in Africa, 240Z. Considering that the worn-out 370Z doesn’t have a suitable and confirmed replacement, the Gripz is the logical way to go.

Sport crossover coupes such as BMW X4 and X6, as well as crossovers, in general, have become more popular recently. Nissan Europe chairman Paul Willcox was asked whether the new Nissan Z would develop in that direction and he didn’t want to reveal anything.

Here is what he said: “That’ a good question. I cannot comment. I think the important point is, what is part of the Nissan brand? And I think dynamic performance is part of that heritage. I wouldn’t rule anything in or rule anything out, but we don’t comment on future products.”

He also added: “The risk is to chase every single segment in the market. I have a line of product managers who come to me and want product in every segment. If we do that, the economics, engineering, design and trying to make a return… it doesn’t work. We have to be absolutely critical to make sure the car can deliver volume… we’re not looking for massive fragmentation. Having more products, maybe companies including Nissan have made some mistakes there. We’re going to focus on [vehicles such as] crossovers, and having the right products to complement that.”

The petrol engine is a standard in the Nissan Gripz Concept, but in addition, an electric motor from the Leaf is added and it produces 80kW and 254Nm of torque.

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Although the company hasn’t announced performance figures, they have promised a “smooth, refined and exhilarating driving experience”.

The concept is quite unique and it differs from any production Z model. However, it is long 4100mm compared to 4140mm from Datsun 240Z. The Gripz is 1500mm tall, 1890mm wide and the wheelbase is 2580mm. On the other hand, Datsun is 1283mm high, 1626mm wide and its wheelbase is 2305mm. Moreover, the car lacks a B-pillar and it has individual bucket seats and four passengers are the limit.

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