Nissan has developed a fuel cell vehicle known as the Terra SUV concept that opens a path to zero-emissions future. The compact SUV exterior design expresses athletic eco-appeal with 'Modern Toughness' that the company is very much confident would appeal buyers, no matter for off-road or urban use.
The Terra SUV concept is set to be unveiled at the upcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show on Sep 27. The concept combines two of Nissan’s outstanding strengths - SUVs and EVs, in a vehicle that is equal in its element off-road in the wild or gliding silently through a sophisticated urban setting.
Envisioned as 'the one and only Zero Emission SUV' the Terra builds on Nissan's success with urban relevant SUVs and crossovers like the Murano and the 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, the concept’s innovative 4x4 fuel-cell electric powertrain and athletic exterior projects an unforgettable presence beyond its compact dimensions.
Exteriorly, the car exudes a toughness image. But once you open the door, the toughness gives way to a surprisingly warm and welcoming interior. The door panel is a sculpted fusion of blond wood trim and coloured acrylic, layered in an interesting pattern.
Ringing the cabin at shoulder height is a metal frame that gives passengers in the Terra a sense of security. The wood/metal contrast continues across the dashboard, a beech wood and acrylic fusion that exude a soft feeling of warmness. On the driver's side, the steering and instrument console gently tapers out toward the driver, barely interrupting the clean lines of the dash.
One interesting equipment feature in the Terra is the unique instrument cluster. It is actually an electronic tablet, something like today’s modern portable tablet. This equipment serves as an intelligent key. The driver docks it when entering the car and removes it when leaving. When docked in, 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 of the car, the tablet provides all the functions we expect from a tablet, plus it stays continually in touch with the vehicle. The idea to this equipment is seamless information and communication, on the road and everywhere else.
Although the Nissan Terra is presented as a design concept, 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.
Even though the Nissan 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. More of the concept will be known after its debut.
Photo credit: Net Car Show
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