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Nissan blade glider

The Way These Doors Open Means You Can Drive A Spaceship Real Soon

If this car looks a bit familiar to you, your eyes haven’t fooled you, you’ve seen this conceptual shape MANY times before. The first car that had this aerodynamic, and very suggestive, shape was called the Nissan Deltawing. Nissan liked it so much that they also used it as a platform for the ZEOD RC, a hybrid electric racing car that appeared in the 2014 24 Hours Of Le Mans race. Then they applied the Reliant-Robin like shape to the Blade Glider “The Future Of Electric Vehicles” concept for the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

Now the folks at Nissan have built a working prototype of the Blade Glider, and we feel they’ve successfully constructed the first roadworthy spaceship. The three seater, dihedral doors (We’re going to call it Suicide-Swan doors, you just heard it here first, folks!) would make McLaren F1 owners roll their eyes so fast they’d be diagnosed with Nystagmus.nissan blade glider door openThe concept looks unlike anything we’ve seen on the road, but it already looks distinctly Nissan with its widened V-shaped mouth. The working prototype is claimed to produce 268 horsepower out of the electric motor and an astonishing 521 lb-ft of torque! With an estimated weight of 1,300 kg, the Blade Glider is said to go 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in less than five seconds.

Here’s the press release from Nissan Motor Company:
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd today unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a revolutionary sports car design.

The vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, have arrived in Brazil to symbolize future technologies that will combine Intelligent Mobility, environmentally-friendly impact and sports-car driving capabilities.

Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said: “These prototypes epitomise Nissan’s drive to expand its Intelligent Mobility strategy, where driving pleasure combines with environmental responsibility. Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero emission future and BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that. It’s the electric vehicle for car-lovers.”

The debut of the BladeGlider prototypes forms part of Nissan’s ongoing commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies including autonomous drive systems and connectivity. Nissan already sells the world’s highest-volume zero-emission car, the LEAF, and is pioneering Intelligent Mobility systems that will be deployed in a range of vehicles over coming years.

With the BladeGlider, Nissan’s vision was for an agile, efficient EV that would provide new dimensions of driving fun and excitement – a car that would ‘glide’, thanks to the near-silent performance of its electric powertrain and aerodynamic shape.

After two years of work on design, engineering and development, Nissan BladeGlider has evolved further into an exciting, real-life study into the potential of advanced EV performance. BladeGlider epitomises Intelligent Mobility, a philosophy to make its cars more exciting by redefining how they are driven, powered and integrated into society.

The demonstration models feature an advanced chassis configuration with a narrow front track and wider rear track for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and handling stability.

High-waisted, rear-hinged dihedral doors provide a dramatic entry and exit to the cabin. The open roof of BladeGlider is reinforced with an integrated roll-over protection structure, providing the exhilaration of an open-topped race car with the safety of a coupé.

Wheel-mounted controls for BladeGlider’s systems feed into an advanced display showing speed, state of battery charge, regeneration mode and torque map. Flanking the central display are two screens, with the images of rear-view cameras mounted just behind the front wheels. An alternative to door-mounted mirrors, this dual screen design improves the aerodynamic efficiency of BladeGlider. The driver sits in arrowhead formation slightly in front of two passengers, who enjoy extended legroom. The view for all occupants is panoramic, thanks to the seamless cockpit windscreen.

Power is 100 percent electric, with exceptional powertrain performance delivered by Nissan’s technical partner for the BladeGlider project, UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering. Maximum speed of the demonstration models is in excess of 190km/h*, with 0-100km/h taking less than 5 seconds*. The rear wheels’ drive is provided by two 130kW electric motors – one for each wheel.

The system features torque vectoring, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels, improving the handling even further. With torque vectoring, if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance.

Designed to add to the driving experience rather than govern it, the torque vectoring systems has three settings: off, agile and drift mode.

Power is supplied by a high performance five module lithium-ion 220kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been developed for both the battery and the motors.

The interior of the BladeGlider reflects the vehicles’ sporting intentions, with four point safety harnesses for each occupant. The seats offer exceptional support to sides and legs of the driver and passengers. The seats are trimmed in a highly tactile blend of fabric and epoxy resin coating, resulting in a tough and grippy material that has the effect of comfortably adhering occupants securely in place.

There are two colour trims – Cyber Green and Stealth Orange. These colours are used for the upper portions of the seat back, and framed with a silver reflective material to create an eye-catching, sporty look. The base of the seats are in black, patterned material, with a band of green and orange trim framing the cushion.

Two BladeGliders will be presented in Rio de Janeiro in August. One will be on static display in Rio while the second will be offering dynamic rides to media and VIPs.

(Source: Nissan Motor Co.)

About Hansen

The engineer amongst the crew, Hansen once built a mini baja car with his bare hands. Hansen had the opportunity to join Honda’s R&D team in Ohio but chose the life of the east coast and the defense industry instead. A die hard auto enthusiast he religiously follows the auto industry and loves long walks in the auto shows.

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