2013 Tokyo Auto Show: Nissan BladeGlider Concept | Edmunds

Nissan BladeGlider Concept: 2013 Tokyo Auto Show

2013 Tokyo Auto Show

What Is It?
Nissan BladeGlider Concept

What's Special About It?
With its drag-reducing narrow front track, three-seat configuration and electric power, the Nissan BladeGlider Concept is quite simply the most radical alteration to sports-car thinking the world has seen in many, many years.

But the BladeGlider isn't just some concept of whimsy. Nissan officials told us that while the average time for concept-to-production is 3-4 years, the BladeGlider could be in showrooms considerably sooner than that.

Why? Because Nissan has a head start on much of the car's technology. That wacky narrow front track design is derived from the DeltaWing and ZEOD RC Le Mans racecars, while Nissan has been working with battery-powered cars for years. In this case, however, the BladeGlider's use of in-wheel electric motors to propel the rear wheels is a first for the brand.

Another unique aspect of the BladeGlider is its three-seat layout, which puts the driver in the center of the car with a passenger on each side. The driver seat automatically slides to one side to ease entry.

The BladeGlider carries 70 percent of its weight over the rear wheels by design, and if Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer can be believed, the BladeGlider is a predictable and easy car to drive at the limit.

How does Palmer know? Because Nissan has already been out testing what it refers to as "attribute prototypes" of the BladeGlider fitted with gasoline engines.

If the BladeGlider proves to be half as good as Nissan claims, maybe its strange styling will grow on us after we've driven it.

What Edmunds Says: The Nissan BladeGlider Concept is a whole new approach to sports car dynamics.

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