Zaroot Concept Car
dates : 1st May 2005
7th May 2005
|You know the
old question: "What have you been smoking
Well, if the answer to that is "a couple of zaroots",
maybe you too could have designed something as restrained
and utilitarian as this.
Jokes aside, Nissan assures us that there’s nothing
homegrown about this sporty utilitarian vehicle. The idea
was to put the zoot into ute, so to speak, and hence it’s
rather… individual character.
The Zaroot broke cover at the Geneva Show a few months
back, and word has it that it’s been wowing audiences as
far afield as Timbuktu and Tongaat ever since.
It was, and remains, a pure concept-vehicle, and other
than the fact that it has an electronic all-mode
four-wheel-drive system and twenty-inch diameter wheels,
we can’t tell you very much about it technically.
It’s name, you’ll be relieved to know, is derived from
the word root, as in the "source of all things",
and route, as in the "chosen path ahead".
Tye-died-in-the-wool Zaroot fans and other hippy types
will appreciate immediately that the Zaroot has gull wing
doors, all the better to fly with.
As owners of 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLs soon came to realize,
there are a few places you shouldn’t open gull-wing
doors. These are where other cars are likely to park next
to you, and in your garage, where the doors tend to jam
solid against the ceiling.
Nissan have solved this problem by splitting the gull-wing
doors into two halves.
The first half flaps up, but not too high, and the lower
half slides under the body so you can actually climb in.
There’s plenty of stash space in all sorts of nooks and
crannies in the Zaroot, and there are some very spacy
features too, like the floating gear-lever console.
There’s also a degree of classic Nissan design language
in the ‘Root. Like the steering wheel, which seems, if
you’ll pardon the pun, to have its roots in the Nissan
240Z sports jobbie from the sixties.
The exterior styling seems to combine some very rooty
stuff too. Do we detect a bit of Datsun Bluebird panel-van
lurking in that otherwise chunky facade?
The inner Zaroot feels as if you are sliding down a
slippery hi-tech slope at times, what with all the
aluminium bright work, retractable panels, cunning
recessed door handles and the like.
It seems that no Rolling Stone adherent has been left
unturned, as they even use crocodile skin for the
upholstery, according to our information.
For the practical-minded, there is a vinyl covering on the
floor at the rear, which will, according to the press
blurb, making cleaning the Zaroot a pleasure, not a chore.
But despite our poking fun, Nissan is serious about the
Zaroot, at least in terms of design themes for its future
Apparently, many of the ideas, such as the sporty
character combined with the SUV high vantage point, is
something customers want to see more of in future
Until then, we dream on… drive on… and light up a
Car Torque is