Nissan has unveiled a working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider vehicle.
Combining zero-emissions and high-performance with a unique sports car design, two vehicles have been developed from the concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, creating an agile, efficient EV that would 'provide new dimensions of driving fun and excitement' - or as Nissan puts it, a car that would ‘glide’.
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 futuristic entry to the cabin, while the open roof is reinforced with an integrated roll-over protection structure, providing the 'exhilaration' of an open-topped race car with the safety of a coupé
On the inside, wheel-mounted controls 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 powertrain performance delivered by Nissan’s technical partner for the BladeGlider project, UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering. Top speed comes in at over 120mph, with 0-62mph taking less than 5 seconds. The rear wheels’ drive is provided by two 130kW electric motors – one for each wheel. 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 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.
The interior of the BladeGlider reflects the vehicles’ sporting intentions, with four point safety harnesses for each occupant. 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 for a sporty look. The base of the seats are in black, patterned material, with a band of green and orange trim framing the cushion.
Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan 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.”