Nissan has given an early overview of its exhibits at the Tokyo Motor Show, to be held later this month, and aside from a new GT-R NISMO performance flagship, the standout from the start appears to be the BladeGlider, a three-seat electric sports car that looks to gliders for inspiration.
And perhaps what's most exciting is that Nissan plans to build it. The automaker is calling it a “prototype of an upcoming production vehicle that demonstrates the innovation and excitement of the Nissan brand and Nissan's leadership in Zero Emissions mobility.”
This concept, from a design standpoint, appears to be channeling aircraft as much as small, back-to-basics roadsters and superlight sports cars. With its swept-wing form and shockingly staggered track, the BladeGlider combines a narrow, wind-cheating form in front that splays out to stability enhancing width in back.
That should provide a great mix of maneuverability as well as high-speed stability; Nissan points out that the car should be capable of high-G cornering and strong acceleration, yet it will be thrifty in terms of power use.
In-wheel motors provide propulsion at the rear, and the motors are managed independently. The automaker didn't provide any further word on running gear, but we suspect that some of the expertise Nissan gained in its Leaf NISMO RC Racer might be put to use. And, of course, it bears more than a passing resemblance to the ZEOD RC electric race car and the DeltaWing race car from which it has grown.
The low, racecar-like seating position in the BladeGlider is unusual in a production car; so is arrangement itself, with the driver's seat centered in front and two passenger seats across in back. It enables a shared experience of “free soaring” for all, Nissan says. Long doors open upward and should allow pretty easy access to those back seats.
Is the BladeGlider something that you could see headed for production, and having some level of market appeal? Let the eco-performance discussion start now.
Check back at our Tokyo Motor Show hub page for more about Tokyo's concept cars, including the BladeGlider, and follow along with us, as we bring you many more pictures live from the show floor beginning November 20.