Crossovers of all sizes are big business, so it’s no surprise that Nissan and Mazda both showed off new crossover concepts at the Frankfurt Motor Show that might hint at the future of their lineups.
Nissan’s unfortunately named Gripz concept is a vision of what they believe a sporty crossover will look like in the not-too-distant future. The company says they took inspiration from rally-prepared 240Z race cars, creating a style that resembles a raised, off-road sports car.
The front end of the Gripz is dominated by Nissan’s V-motion grille design similar to the new Maxima and Murano. The high-mounted, V-shaped side marker lights are reminiscent of the Juke, as is the Gripz’ tapered, coupe-like rear end.
Speaking of the Juke, Nissan confirmed recently that there will be another generation of the quirky small crossover. Is the Gripz a taste of what the next Juke will look like? The front end similarities would say that it’s a possibility. Should the Gripz become the Juke, it will be interesting to see how much of the concept car’s designs make it into production.
Under the hood, Nissan envisions the Gripz having a hybrid system similar to a Chevrolet Volt, where a gas engine powers the electric motor and the electric motor drives the wheels. Nissan didn’t say just how many of those wheels will get power.
Over at the Mazda camp, the Koeru concept is much less radical and looks like it could start rolling off of the assembly line tomorrow. More a design exercise than a fully realized concept car, the Koeru (meaning “exceed” or “go beyond” in Japanese) shows the possible direction of future Mazda crossovers, especially the CX-5, as that is due for an update soon. In fact, the length, width height of the Koeru are similar to that of the CX-5, and the 7,000 mm wheelbase is identical.
This may well be the next CX-5. If so, it looks like Mazda has another stunner in its lineup.
Check out this TFLcar video of the 2015 Mazda CX-5: