The Frankfurt Motor Show has played host to some fascinating SUVs and while there's been some sporty examples, few can match the out-and-out high-riding sports car stylings of Nissan's Gripz Concept. Inspired by classic rally cars, the Gripz is Nissan's attempt to create a dual-personality crossover that can be practical during the week and rough it on the weekend.
The Gripz' designers aimed to pay homage to one of the brand's first attempts at a "crossover" – the 240Z racer that tackled Safari Rallies across the Baja Peninsula, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the 70s. Just like those classic Z cars, the Gripz concept features a raised ride height and an orange and black paintjob. After that point, the similarities are a bit more subtle.
Unlike the 240Z racers of old, the Gripz has been designed as a "lifestyle SUV," a car created for people living in cities who like to escape the city limits for a spot of kayaking, skiing or mountain biking. This is something which the team has tried to work into the design with, for example, the inclusion of 22-inch wheels designed by Bridgestone that emulate the wheels on lightweight track bicycles. There's also matte black cladding and carbon fiber scattered around the orange paintwork to make the car look more "rugged" and "sporty."
Up front, the square headlamps and boomerang shaped daytime running lights carry echoes of the oddball Juke SUV, while the shape of the taillights is closely related to the design on the 370Z. Beyond the corporate design cues, the Gripz has a steeply raked roofline and scissor doors, designed to give easy access to its 2+2 interior.
Moving inside reveals four individual bucket seats and a steering wheel designed to reflect the design of those massive 22-inch wheels on the outside. It also reveals one of the Gripz' more interesting features – an inbuilt action camera to stream and record all the action if you take your car adventuring.
Power comes from a series hybrid powertrain that combines the LEAF's electric motor with a small petrol engine.
As you may have gathered the Gripz is just a design study, and most of its over-the-top detailing won't ever see production. Have a flick through our gallery to take a closer look at the car's craziest details.
Below is Nissan's introductory video for the Gripz.