Nissan Bladeglider Concept Previews a Production Model: 2013 Tokyo Auto Show | Edmunds

Nissan Bladeglider Concept Previews a Production Model


Just the Facts:
  • The electric Nissan Bladeglider concept, which will debut at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show, is an "exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle," according to Nissan.
  • A production version of the aircraft-inspired Bladeglider could feature Nissan's first use of in-wheel motors.
  • The cockpit seats three in a triangular configuration.

YOKOHAMA, Japan — The electric Nissan Bladeglider concept, which will debut at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show, is an "exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle," according to Nissan.

A production version of the radical concept car — a far cry from the more conventional Nissan Leaf — could shake up the electric-vehicle market with its unusual deltoid body that looks more at home on a racetrack than a highway. The look of the concept springs from the Nissan ZEOD RC, or Zero On Demand Racing Car, that will make its debut at the 2014 Le Mans 24 Hour race.

"I think there are elements we can bring from the racetrack to make these future road cars more exciting, more fulfilling and give greater driving pleasure," said Ben Bowlby, director of Nissan Motorsport Innovation, in a statement on Friday.

The front wheels of the Bladeglider are close together to reduce drag and to enhance maneuverability, a configuration Nissan has expounded with its recent endurance-racing cars.

The concept features a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) body, a flat and narrow nose and pearlescent white paint.

Nissan has not spelled out when a version of the Bladeglider might make it into production, what it would cost or such important details as range and miles-per-gallon equivalent.

A production version of the Bladeglider could feature Nissan's first use of in-wheel drive motors, the automaker said.

"The in-wheel motors provide rear-wheel propulsion with independent motor management, while also contributing to freedom of upper body design and space-efficient packaging," Nissan said.

The cockpit seats three in a triangular configuration, with the driver in the single front seat. The driver seat automatically slides laterally when the door is open, allowing easy access to the passenger seats.

Edmunds says: Could this be the "it" vehicle of the Tokyo Auto Show?

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