Nissan already has a history of performance crossovers with things like the Juke Nismo and Juke R, but the company is pushing the idea that a crossover can be a sports car much farther. The teased Gripz Concept has now been unveiled and it is a wild and interesting thing indeed. It looks almost like a 370Z mated with a BMW X4 to create an alien life form with wheels.
In true concept car fashion, this thing is packed with wild features that will never see the light of day. There are cameras everywhere instead of mirrors, it has 22-inch wheels, wild headlights that are nowhere near DOT legal, and it makes use of a special new hybrid drivetrain that adds a gasoline engine to the Leaf’s EV motor and battery system.
This little machine is technically a 2+2, but with that sloping roofline it looks like the rear will be reserved for very small humans only, or perhaps friends who are contortionists. Obviously Nissan is still being quiet on if this machine actually teases a future production vehicle, but there have been rumors that the 370Z will be replaced by a crossover.
Nissan released a pair of videos to show off the car, and the first one talks about the design and ideas that went into making the Gripz. There is a lot of talk about the death of the two-seat sports car, and the practicality of a crossover. There is also a lot of talk about the 240Z rally and desert cars that prove you can be high-riding and still be fun.
Only time will tell if this really morphs into the next Z. Check out the car in our full gallery linked below, and make sure you watch the two videos that Nissan released. They provide a lot of insight into this new concept.