The radical, DeltaWing based Nissan BladeGlider electric car concept revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show will go into production within three years, according to Nissan’s engineering chief Andy Palmer. Nissan executives also confirmed that a test mule of the RWD electrically powered three seater is already functional and that Ben Bowlby, who originated the DeltaWing concept, is involved in the BladeGlider project.
Nissan sees the BladeGlider as an affordable sports car for young people. “When I was growing up the principle was that young people wanted a sports car and their parents hated the idea of them – the problem with all of today’s sports cars is that they are actually owned by parents,” said Palmer. “We are exploring ways of getting back to a sports car that is affordable, challenging and appealing for young people.”
The production version will be toned down considerably, with Nissan styling head Shiro Nakamura calling the BladeGlider “an extreme interpretation” of the concept. The delta shaped open roadster’s body is made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic and it has a centrally located driver’s seat, flanked by two passenger seats behind. The narrow front end is good for aero while the underbody creates downforce. Electric in-wheel motors, a first for a production EV if it does make it to mass assembly, are powered by lithium ion batteries positioned low and rearward. The BladeGlider has a 30:70 front:rear weight distribution.
“I’ve driven the prototype, and it is unlike anything I have sampled before,” said Palmer. “This is the car that takes advantage of all the packaging benefits of an electric powertrain. All that weight and the set-up of the front racks means that the car is incredibly pointy, but the rear track and downforce mean that you can catch the oversteer with amazing ease.”
Palmer confirmed the car will make production, slotting in below the 370Z in Nissan’s lineup and in price.