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Paris show: Nissan’s hydrogen-powered SUV

Terra-fying: The hydrogen fuel cell-powered Terra SUV concept uses technology from the Leaf EV to power its front wheels.

Nissan reveals Terra hydrogen fuel-cell concept before Paris show debut


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12 Sep 2012

IMAGES of Nissan’s wild-looking Terra fuel-cell concept have been revealed ahead of a public showing at the Paris Motor Show later this month.

The futuristic design concept carries some styling cues from the Juke compact SUV, including an additional set of round headlights under the main headlights.

The aggressive-looking Terra features distinctive design elements such as square wheel arches, a high belt line, blue highlights on the skirting and headlights and an aerodynamically flat body pan to protect the underside.

The fanciful Terra is simply a show car, but is powered by a serious fuel-cell powertrain that Nissan says is functional and ready to use.

Nissan claims that the Terra is “the one and only zero-emission SUV”, with an electric propulsion system borrowed from the Leaf EV powering the front wheels and in-wheel electric motor in each rear wheel.

Because no drive shafts are required to power the wheels, the usual transmission tunnel “hump” is missing from the floor of the cabin.

The Japanese car-maker claims that its hydrogen fuel cell stack features “world-leading” power density of 2.5kW/L.

Nissan said the Terra highlighted its willingness to pursue hydrogen power, saying: “Nissan is ready to mass-produce fuel cell electric vehicles whenever hydrogen becomes widely available.”

Nissan product strategy and planning division general manager Francois Bancon said the Japanese car-maker took a new approach to designing a more urban-friendly SUV.

“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,” he said.

Sculpted blond-wood trim features heavily in the Terra’s unique interior while a ring-like metal frame covers the top of the door trim and dash.

A removable tablet replaces the traditional dashboard in the Terra, and once locked in place, displays speed and other vehicle information.

A number of car-makers have already dipped their toe in the world of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with Honda already leasing examples of its FCX Clarity to customers in Southern California as a part of a trial.

Mercedes-Benz, General Motors, Mazda and Toyota are among the manufacturers testing hydrogen fuel cells.

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