Delta Wing Project 56, a company backed by racing and pharmaceuticals entrepreneur Don Panoz to develop the DeltaWing racecar, is suing Nissan, claiming that the recently revealed BladeGlider concept, which Nissan revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show, infringes on intellectual property related to the DeltaWing.
Nissan says that their delta shaped car is inspried by “the soaring, silent, panoramic freedom of a glider and the triangular shape of a high-performance ‘swept wing’ aircraft.” One of the members of the BladeGlider project is designer Ben Bowlby, who originated the concept of the DeltaWing and he’s named as a defendant along with Nissan and Darren Cox, director of Nissan’s global motorsports program.
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.”
DeltaWing Concept Made Street Legal By Nissan's BladeGlider, Legal Status of Nissan's DeltaWing Based ZEOD RC Less Clear
It’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and you can usually tell that something is a practical idea from the number of people who rush to embrace it. Threatened lawsuits over who owns the idea are also a clue that there may be potential in it. When the DeltaWing concept was first introduced at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show as a possible formula for IndyCar, Ben Bowlby’s needle-nosed idea had a lot of skeptical reactions. Now it has imitators including an “exploratory prototype” of a possible production car by Nissan, to be introduced soon at the Tokyo Auto Show.
Sorry, couldn’t resist
After months of teasing, Nissan officially pulled the wraps of the ZEOD RC. The Zero Emissions On Demand Race Car will occupy Garage 56 at the 24 Hours of LeMans in June of next year. This weekend it is expected to hit the track at round 6 of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship, October 18-20 at Japan’s Fuji International Speedway.
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