Nissan BladeGlider concept is the blueprint for an anti-establishment small electric sports car based on the principles of the Deltawing race car and which will make production within three years after its debut at the Tokyo motor show.
Nissan's commitment to making the rear-drive car, senior executives
confirmed that a test mule, based around a modified Ariel Atom, is already running, and that Deltawing race car designer Ben Bowlby has already been heavily involved in the project.
I was growing up the principle was that young people wanted a sports
car and their parents hated the idea of them - the problem with all of
today's sports cars is that they are actually owned by parents," said
Nissan's engineering chief Andy Palmer. "We are exploring ways of
getting back to a sports car that is affordable, challenging and
appealing for young people."
The BladeGlider concept is one vision
of how the concept will work. Styling of the production car is expected
to change, with the BladeGlider being described by design chief Shiro
Nakamura as "an extreme interpretation" of how the car could look. Like
the Deltawing race car it has an extremely narrow front track, measuring
just one metre, and a much wider rear track, which Nissan only
describes as "stable".
Although technical details are scarce, the
deltoid body shape is wrapped in carbonfibre-reinforced plastic, with
the interior seating three people: a centrally placed passenger and two
passengers either side, as pioneered on the McLaren F1 road car.
narrow front end aids aerodynamic efficiency, while the carbonfibre
underbody creates downforce without the need for drag-enhancing wings.
The car's weight distribution is 30:70 front to rear, thanks largely to
the low and rearward positioning of the lithium ion batteries and low
weight of the in-wheel electric motors. The latter technology has been
confirmed for the production car, a Nissan first.
"I've driven the
prototype, and it is unlike anything I have sampled before," said
Palmer. "This is the car that takes advantage of all the packaging
benefits of an electric powertrain. All that weight and the set-up of
the front racks means that the car is incredibly pointy, but the rear
track and downforce mean that you can catch the oversteer with amazing
Palmer confirmed the car will make production, sitting
below the more traditional Nissan 370Z sports car in the firm's line-up
and in terms of price, meaning it will cost significantly below £30,000
despite its hi-tech electric powertrain.
Thanks to: Autocar