Nissan has shared its vision of what the future of the SUV might look by unveiling the TeRRA concept, which will be first shown at the upcoming 2012 Paris Motor Show. The concept combines Nissan's expertise in electric vehicles and 4x4s and is powered by a fuel cell feeding voltage to three electric motors. The front motor comes from the Nissan Leaf and provides power to the front two wheels. The two rear wheels, meanwhile, receive an in-wheel electric motor each -- similar to those seen in Nissan's past PIVO concepts. Nissan claims the cost of the fuel cell stack is one-sixth that of the stack from 2005, with precious metal content reduced to one-quarter of that of the predecessor unit.

On the outside, the TeRRA combines traditional SUV design cues such as big tires, a high beltline, and prominent fenders with contemporary elements such as an aerodynamically flat underbody pan. Because there are no driveshafts, transfer cases, or other hardware traditionally associated with a 4x4 vehicle, the TeRRA also has a completely flat floor, adding to its cargo versatility. According to Nissan, inspiration for the TeRRA's design and interior packaging came from 'the lifestyles of youthful customers in Northern Europe.'

Reflecting the tastes of its target demographic, the TeRRA's interior features light-colored wood trim and acrylic surfaces with a metal frame at shoulder level designed to give the occupants a sense of security. The seating is arranged in a staggered diagonal pattern, giving the passengers better visibility out the front windshield. The three passenger seats are designed to fold into a flat cabin deck, allowing for the transport of bicycles, kayaks and, straight from the Nissan press release, 'assemble-yourself furniture from Scandinavia.'

Finally, in recognition of the increasing importance and ubiquity of technology in people's lives, the instruments and gauges are displayed on a removable tablet that acts as the vehicle's 'key' when docked or removed.

Source: Nissan