It seems Nissan is up to something special for the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show with this: the Nissan BladeGlider Concept.
The BladeRunner, err, Glider, is (as the company calls it) “both a proposal for the future direction of Nissan electric vehicle (EV) development and an exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle from the world’s leading EV manufacturer”. Nissan states that the BladeGlider will give its passengers “sustainable exhilaration”.
The BladeGlider bears a resemblance to the DeltaWing race car they fielded at Le Mans with two front wheels close together as well as a wider rear track. The BladeGlider achieves low drag and downforce to keep it on the ground.
Francois Bancon, division general manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning at Nissan states that “the goal was to revolutionise 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”.
BladeGlider many technologies found in the Nissan LEAF and the Nissan ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car), which will take part at next year's Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.
The cabin/cockpit of the BladeGlider seats three persons in a triangular configuration (similar to the McLaren F1). In front of the driver is an aviation-style steering wheel and state-of-the-art instrumentation technology. To support maximum EV cruising efficiency, the IT system can display relief maps and atmospheric conditions.
When BladeGlider matures into a production car, it could be Nissan's first use of in-wheel motors with independent management. Powering the motors is Nissan's lithium-ion battery technology mounted low and towards the rear to enhance stability and handling. Weight distribution is set at 30/70, front and rear.
Will we see the Nissan BladeGlider on roads soon? We'll find out.