The Nissan Gripz Concept makes world premiere at 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show

Nissan is calling its Gripz concept a design statement, rather than a replacement for an existing model, but we’re willing to bet you’re getting an eyeful of what the second-generation Juke crossover will look like.

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The Gripz, unveiled this week at the Frankfurt auto show, ditches the Juke’s frog-eyed front end, replacing it with ‘boomerang’-shaped headlights like those on the Murano and Maxima, on a body that’s trying really hard to hide the fact that it’s a crossover.

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Indeed, Nissan seems reluctant to call it one: the company’s press release mentions a compact crossover-sized footprint, but focuses on what it calls a sports-car silhouette with a raised ride height, conceived to “conquer more challenging driving conditions.”

Nissan says the Gripz is driven by the same electric motor used in its Leaf EV

But here the electricity is generated by a gasoline motor. There’s the promise of a “smooth, refined and exhilarating drive,” but no mention that the raised suspension is backed up by all-wheel drive. If the Gripz does follow in the Juke’s footsteps, it should be AWD, as we’d love for something this cool-looking to benefit from the same rear-axle torque-vectoring technology that makes the Juke so much fun to toss around.

Nissan Gripz get big wheels with low-profile tires

nissan gripz concept
Although maintaining a similar footprint to a compact crossover, the Nissan Gripz Concept has the silhouette of a sports car with a raised ride height, equipped to conquer more challenging driving conditions.

Along with many of the car’s interior elements, were inspired by racing bikes like those used in the Tour de France. The bicycle theme is carried forward with front-facing cameras in the headlight housings to “record every journey,” as many hardcore cyclists do. But why wait till you get home to share with your friends where you’ve been? The view ahead can be broadcast in real-time so your friends (who apparently have no lives of their own) can follow along with you.

Nissan Gripz Gallery

Chris has been writing professionally about cars since 2004, in print and online. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two feline tyrants. In rare quiet moments, he can be found travelling or playing one of his way-too-many guitars. Chris is also a journalist member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).