September 28, 2012
Sept. 28 – Atsugi, Japan – Comedian Jay Leno appears nightly on his own NBC TV program, but when not entertaining millions the avid car collector and historian is a dead-serious automotive enthusiast.
The owner of a classic car garage and proprietor of an auto website and blog made his first visit to Japan this summer, touring the Nissan Technical Center and Heritage DNA Garage with Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura, who earlier visited Jay’s garage in California and was returning the favor.
Lifting back the curtain at NTC, Nissan’s design chief unveiled for Jay the fuel-cell EV TeRRA, on display at the Paris Motor Show currently.
The TeRRA 4×4 SUV is the latest concept car in a line of Nissan fuel cell vehicles begun in 1996, a march towards a broader zero-emission portfolio that includes FCEVs.
The car, designed at the satellite studio Nissan Design and Creative Box, uses a Nissan LEAF powertrain in a fuel-cell concept, and points to the creation of a production FCV by the 2016 financial year.
“It was very exciting. I was impressed by the Nissan Technical Center – it’s huge – 13,500 people work there. My town didn’t have that many people in it when I was growing up,” Leno joked.
“It’s fascinating to see the cars and how the cars evolve. It’s fun to see car design from the Japanese perspective. They’re all cars, but it’s like music – there’s rap and there’s classical, but it’s still music. It’s fun to see people approach the same problem from a different angle.”
Leno did not take the TeRRA for an off-road spin, but did drive a few Nissan and Datsun classics during his brief Japan pit stop – with more videos to come from the Global Media Center in coming weeks.