Nissan will unveil a sleek new three-seat electric concept called the BladeGlider at the 2013 Tokyo auto show, which is designed as a futuristic road car but takes its inspiration from the motorsports realm.
The Nissan BladeGlider takes clear inspiration from Nissan’s DeltaWing racer as well as the ZEOD RC hybrid which the Japanese automaker will enter into the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2014. The BladeGlider uses the same now-familiar triangular layout as its predecessors, with its elongated nose, cockpit-like driving position, and widely tracked rear wheels. In fact, Nissan even commissioned DeltaWing designer Ben Bowlby to help with the BladeGlider's development.
Although the concept shares engineering elements with the Nissan ZEOD RC, the Nissan BladeGlider is unique in that it uses an all-electric powertrain. Lithium-ion batteries and in-wheel electric motors power the BladeGlider, with large rear air vents to aid in keeping the motors cool. The batteries are located low and in the rear of the vehicle, contributing to its 30/70 front/rear weight distribution ratio that increases stability and handling.
"The goal was to revolutionize the architecture of the vehicle to provoke new emotions, provide new value and make visible for consumers how Zero Emissions can help redefine our conception of vehicle basics," said Francois Bancon, division manager of product strategy and product planning at Nissan.
Despite its electric powertrain, Nissan has engineered the BladeGlider with the soul of a real racecar. The entire body is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, and the vehicle’s delta-wing shape is designed for high-performance aerodynamics and downforce. As a result of that shape, passengers sit in a V-formation, with the driver in front and the two passengers to his sides.
Looking at the BladeGlider in profile, we see a resemblance to BMW’s i8 electric sports car. The black, white, and grey colors combined with the blue-accented wheels suggest Nissan’s design team sees the BladeGlider as the next step in street-legal high-performance electric sports cars.
Nissan has designated the BladeGlider as an exploratory prototype for a future production electric car. If the Nissan BladeGlider that will debut at the 2013 Tokyo auto show makes it to production with the same McLaren-style seating position, fully-panoramic cockpit and upright-swinging doors, we can’t wait to see it out on the street. Until then, check out the video below for a closer look at the Nissan BladeGlider concept.