Nissan to unveil new fuel cell SUV concept at Paris Motor Show with 3-motor 4x4 powertrain; leveraging LEAF and PIVO
12 September 2012
|Nissan TeRRA SUV concept. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan will unveil the Nissan TeRRA SUV fuel cell electric vehicle concept at the 2012 Paris Motor Show on 27 September. TeRRA, with a 3-motor, 4x4 powertrain, builds on Nissan’s success with what it calls “urban-relevant” SUVs and crossovers such as the Murano and Qashqai.
Powering the front wheels is the electric propulsion system currently featured in the battery-electric 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. (Earlier post.)
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 power density of 2.5 kW/L. The latest in a series of Nissan fuel cells since 1996, the stack costs one-sixth of its 2005 progenitor as the need for expensive precious metals has been cut to one-quarter of the previous level.
|Interior of the Nissan TeRRA SUV concept. Click to enlarge.|
TeRRA’s driver sits front and almost center in a novel diagonal layout that positions rear passengers over the shoulders of those in front, rather than directly behind.
Facing the driver is a novel instrument cluster—an electronic tablet—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 toggle to entertainment, communications, navigation and other views. Outside the car it provides all the functions expected from a tablet, plus it stays continually in touch with the vehicle. The idea is seamless information and communication, on the road and everywhere else.
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. 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 conditions.—,Francois Bancon, Nissan’s division general manager of product strategy and planning
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