Nissan Terra SUV concept (2012) first official pictures | CAR Magazine

Nissan Terra SUV concept (2012) first official pictures

Published: 12 September 2012 Updated: 26 January 2015

This is the Nissan TeRRA (which we’ll be referring to as the Terra from now on.) It’s a hydrogen fuel cell-powered concept car that’ll debut on Nissan’s stand at the 2012 Paris motor show from 27 September.

Strictly a design study with no plans for production, it does nevertheless confirm that Nissan is thinking seriously about fuel cell-equipped cars, and that once the infrastructure is viable, Nissans will be quick to adapt to a hydrogen-fuelled future. It’s not Leaf-style EVs, you know.

The Terra’s butch styling follows on from Nissan’s love-it-or-hate-it Juke, but with even stronger shoulders, and a ‘floating’ roof design. Under the macho skin though, the tech is rather intriguing…

Explain the 2012 Nissan Terra concept’s powertrain?

Ostensibly, this is a template for a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered SUV. The hydrogen fuel-cell stack (which costs a fifth to produce versus the fuel-cells Nissan was building in 2005) produces electricity that powers three on-board electric motors. Two of the motors are situated within the rear wheels themselves, which does away with the need for bulky and heavy drivetrain components, allowing Nissan to maximise interior space.

The front wheels are powered by the more conventional battery and motor set-up from the Nissan Leaf electric hatchback, providing the Terra’s 4×4 capability.

Does the 2013 Nissan Terra have a wacky concept car cabin?

You bet. Instead of a conventional dashboard and instrument binnacle, Nissan has thought completely outside of the box and come up with a tablet-based ‘intelligent key.’ The giant iPad-like device is juiced by the Terra’s on-board power source and provides all the usual information while driving, like speed, infotainment, and navigation read-outs.

However, the clever bit is that upon parking and leaving the Terra (in a concept car world – Nissan aren’t going to put the Terra into production, remember) you take the tablet with you, just like a regular car key. Neat idea or pie-in-the-sky gimmick? Tell us your verdict in the article comments below.

The other stand-out feature is the overlapping seating which places all four seats slightly behind one another, to afford optimum space for passengers and a better view forward.

Add in the natural light-coloured wood trim and splash of metal flourish and you’ve got a classic futuristic concept car interior, without a cupholder in sight.



By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish