Nissan tempts fuel-cell fans with exciting new TeRRA concept


Wondering what Nissan's next Juke-style crossover might look like? Nissan's TeRRA concept - about to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show - might just give you an idea.

Powered by a hydrogen fuel cell and three electric motors - offering four-wheel-drive - the TeRRA marks Nissan's foray into new eco-friendly territory and, in theory, off road too.

An electric propulsion system from the all-electric Leaf powers the front two wheels, while two in-wheel electric motors provide the rear of the car with power when required - something that Nissan says should make the TeRRA equally in its element on road or off.

With a diagonal seating arrangement similar to that used in the old Smart ForTwo, the TeRRA provides a unique driving position with 'exceptional' visibility for the driver, while an iPad-like tablet functions as the vehicle's instrument panel and - bizarrely - its key.

The owner docks this in front of the steering wheel when they get in, and removes it when the vehicle is parked - though we're not convinced the days of throwing the car keys in your back pocket are over just yet.

Nissan tempts fuel-cell fans with exciting new TeRRA concept
Passengers are surrounded by attractive beech panelling on the dash and doors, while a metal 'frame' rings the interior - supposedly implying a sense of security. They also benefit from the TeRRA's entirely flat floor: a feature that comes courtesy of the car's lack of transmission tunnel, owing to the electric motor power train.

Nissan says the TeRRA is presented as a 'design concept' rather than a technical exhibit, but that the fuel cell-powered 4x4 isn't as far away as we think.

With the company still innovating in the fuel-cell format, something like the TeRRA may well see production one day - perhaps even at the UK's very own Sunderland plant.

All that's needed now, says Nissan, is the hydrogen.