Nissan executive Philippe Klein has revealed that the company’s BladeGlider concept is no longer being actively developed for a production future.
Klein, who became Nissan’s product planning boss when his predecessor Andy Palmer moved to Aston Martin, told press this week that the concept is no longer a top priority for the company.
The BladeGlider, or a version of it, was considered a shoo-in for a showroom debut when it was first revealed, with Nissan’s own press material speaking in terms of “when” rather than “if” in describing its production future.
"When BladeGlider matures into a production car, it could be Nissan's first use of in-wheel motors," the carmaker said when it revealed the concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
This week, in an interview with the UK’s Autocar, Philippe Klein said the project has not been written off, but that it must first “make sense to the company”.
“We have the concept car, and it has the ability to surprise, but it is not big in our plans now,” he said.
The BladeGlider is the second sports-focused concept to roll out of Nissan’s studios in recent years, having been unveiled alongside the retro-styled IDX concepts at the 2013 Tokyo show.
As with the DeltaWing-inspired BladeGlider, Nissan has yet to confirm any sort of production plan for the IDX concepts, and reports early last year suggested it would likely not happen.
Nissan has long been expected to introduce a new lightweight Toyota 86-rivalling sports car below the Z and GT-R models, with many reports speculating on the rebirth of the popular 200SX/Silvia coupe.
Other reports, including an interview here at TMR with Francois Bancon, a former product planning executive with Nissan (he has since moved to luxury arm Infiniti), suggest Nissan could instead make its next-generation Z smaller and lighter.
“We have to renew the Z soon, and maybe we should think about making the Z a little bit more, let’s say, what the Z used to be, like the first-generation Z,” he said.
“It’s an iconic car in our line-up, so to renew the Z might be the opportunity to make it a little bit more accessible, a bit lighter.”
The idea of re-imagining the Z appears to jibe with comments from Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura, who told American site Motor Authority at last year's Paris Motor Show that the carmaker can only justify two sports cars - and one of those is the GT-R.