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Nissan BladeGlider (2013) shown

Fri, 08 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800

By Damion Smy

First Official Pictures

08 November 2013 09:53

Is the Nissan Qashqai a little too practical for you? Nissan has the answer: the wacky-looking BladeGlider, inspired by its Zeod racer that began sportscar racing in 2012 as the Nissan DeltaWing.

The BladeGlider is a Nissan showpiece for its future sportscars, which will see hybrid and EV tech end up in its flagship GT-R. Yet this arrow-like sportscar is loosely based on the Zeod racecar’s design, but instead of a single front wheel, there's a pair of front wheels separated by a narrow, 1.0m-wide track.

With the balance sorted, the design takes the framework and cloaks it in a two-tone carbonfibre skin boasting a wraparound windscreen, eggshell panels and a sleek integrated diffuser at the rear that incorporates the taillights and massive exhaust outlets. Lamborghini-esque scissor doors welcome three occupants – there are two rear passenger seats – while the blue on the wheels signals this oddity runs under electric power.

That’s not the case: that’s where the ‘gliding’ comes in. Nissan says that this car is a clean-sheet design intended to demonstrate the packaging advantages of an electric vehicle, and the possibilities that entails. Hence, there’s a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor under that radical skin, with an electric motor powering each of the rear wheels. There’s no word on performance yet – this is a ‘proposal’ (that is, concept) according to Nissan.

Instead, Nissan speaks of the agility and handling of the BladeGlider, primarily achieved via that narrow front track, slippery aero shape and 30/70 front/rear weight distribution, thanks to the battery pack being mounted low and towards the rear of the car.

Not in this state – but Nissan says that ‘when’ BladeGlider ‘matures’ into a production car, it could be the first Nissan to make use of those in-wheel motors. What we want is a wild-looking Nissan that’ll be as fun as a GT-R yet look as amazing as this. Bring it on, Nissan.  

By Damion Smy