Credit where it’s due to Nissan, its determination and perseverance with bold ideas is admirable. The mad Deltawing Le Mans concept morphed into the ZEOD, still with the incredibly narrow front track, and now there’s the BladeGlider road car. Building on the Deltawing philosophy, Nissan claims this prototype is “the electric vehicle for car-lovers.”
How so? Well it’s been developed with Williams Engineering for a start, which also had a hand in the GT-R NISMO Time Attack car. Power comes from a five-module lithium-ion battery, driving an individual motor for each rear wheel with 200kW of power overall, or 268hp. Claimed figures from Williams are a top speed in excess of 120mph and 0-62mph in less than five seconds. With individual 130kW motors the BladeGlider can vector torque across the rear axle, which should help throughout every stage of a corner. Better than that, there are settings for the torque vectoring, a la Focus RS: you can choose from off, agile and drift mode.
Inside there are more hints at its sporting potential, plus enough detail to suggest that this is quite an advanced prototype. Each of the three occupants get four-point harnesses , with “a tough and grippy” resin coating for the seats that “has the effect of comfortably adhering occupants securely in place.” Sounds safe… Nissan is already discussing colours too, with the seats offered in Cyber Green or Stealth Orange.
The driver is treated to a wheel-mounted display for all vital info, with the additional screens showing the rear view. This is a concept car after all, and which concept car has mirrors? The driver sits ahead of the passengers to benefit their legroom, with access to the interior via rear-hinged dihedral doors. Because, again, it wouldn’t be a real concept with conventional doors.
But we’re working around the elephant in the room here: the way it looks. Nissan says the narrow front track compared to the rear aids both stability and aero efficiency, with the BladeGlider’s look a “revolutionary sports car design”, but it’s not what you’d call a conventional beauty. What do you make of it?
Carlos Ghosn has spoken at the reveal of the BladeGlider, saying that “Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero emission future and BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that.” We shouldn’t forget Williams in this either, with the battery and motor using its knowledge. MD Craig Wilson added: “we like to use our expertise in automotive engineering to help customers push the boundaries with their new projects. This is exactly what Nissan is doing with BladeGlider”.
The BladeGlider is said to represent the peak of Nissan’s ‘Intelligent Mobility’ mantra, where it aims to make cars more exciting by “redefining how they are driven, powered and integrated into society.” So while we may not see BladeGliders on the road that soon – although a driving prototype is ready to go now – expect the technology to be incorporated into production EVs in the near future. That being said, nobody expected the Deltawing to be seen on track as soon it was… We’ll be following this one with interest!