Nissan BladeGlider Concept Revealed At Tokyo Motor Show Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Nov, 08 2013 | 4 Comments

Is this Nissan's answer to the 86 and BRZ coupes offered by Toyota and Subaru? If recent comments from Nissan VP Andy Palmer are any clue, it just might be.

Speaking with website Motor Trend in October, Palmer declared the Toyota and Subaru cars a solution for "mid-life crisis" buyers, before confirming that a Nissan alternative would be revealed at this month's Tokyo Motor Show.

Well, what you see here is the Nissan BladeGlider. Not only is it bound for the Tokyo show, Nissan says it's bound for production.

Just how that will work out, however, remains to be seen. It's an odd design and it's all-electric, so we can likely expect some serious changes before the DeltaWing-inspired BladeGlider makes the leap to showrooms.

If nothing else, we can likely expect this concept's general front and rear styling to inspire the look of Nissan's next sports coupe, with a high rear deck, GT-R like glasshouse and slender lights all bound to reach production.

And, if BMW's upcoming i8 Coupe has proven anything, it's that carmakers are - now more than ever - keen to discover new and more futuristic styling directions.

As a concept, the BladeGlider is powered by in-wheel electric motors, helped by a lightweight carbon fibre and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic body design.

Power and performance figures, predictably, have not been revealed. But, importantly, Nissan isn't ruling out an electric - or at least electric-assisted - drivetrain for the production model.

"When BladeGlider matures into a production car, it could be Nissan's first use of in-wheel motors," Nissan says.

"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."

The front end gets a narrow 1.0 metre track, helping to reduce drag and enhance manoeuvrability. So, on a styling level, the BladeGlider is a case of form following function.

The concept's weight is centred on the rear axle, imbuing the roadster with sharp cornering ability - or so Nissan says. About 70 percent of the concept's weight is distributed to the rear.

From some angles, this is a good-looking unit.
From some angles, this is a good-looking unit.

Francois Bancon, who spoke with TMR last year about a successor to the 370Z, says you shouldn't be put off by the BladeGlider's unorthodox styling.

"Visually, you say, 'It does not make me confident.' But when you drive it, it's really impressive," Bancon said. "We moved all the weight to the back, and the front is just for direction. Because there is no pressure on those wheels, it is highly agile. There are no side Gs on the wheels itself."

Nissan says the BladeGlider "embodies a fearless vision of the EV future".

Fearless is one word for it...

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