Futuristic Nissan BladeGlider unveiled

*NOW UPDATED WITH VIDEO* Nissan is taking two, Deltawing-inspired all-electric sports cars to the Olympic games ahead of a possible production run. Oh, and the BladeGlider can drift too…

Imagine for a second that Nissan took the Gran Turismo ‘Vision’ concept it debuted last year, smashed it together with the ZEOD RC that raced (briefly) at Le Mans in 2014, and added a dash of McLaren F1 to represent the company’s commitment to zero-emission motoring. Chances are you’ll come up with something like this…

It’s called the BladeGlider, and while it may sound like the next development in Gillette’s ever-expanding collection, it’s an advanced prototype of ‘an electric vehicle for car lovers’ first seen in conceptual form at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2013. Shaped like the Delta but featuring four wheels and three-occupant seating, the prototype featured light carbon fibre bodywork, with Nissan hinting at an all-electric powertrain as part of Nissan’s drive for advanced EV development. Now BladeGlider v2.0 has appeared at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro as part of a larger, ‘real life study’ into electric vehicle technology. There’s even rumblings that a production version may be on the cards…

Following on from its commitments with Jaguar’s new Formula E and C-X75 programmes, technical partners Williams Advanced Engineering has undertaken work on the electric powertrains, aerodynamics and chassis dynamics. Power is sent only the rear wheels courtesy of two 130kW electric motors that produce a total equivalent of 268bhp and 707Nm (521lb ft) of torque. Not too shabby for a sports car weighing close to 1300kg (don’t forget that lithium-ion 220kW battery weighs quite a bit). Performance proves equally as eyebrow raising, with Nissan suggesting a five-second 0-100kph time and a top speed ‘in excess of 190kph’.

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So far so electric powertrains, but have we mentioned the really cool bit? The dual motor setup means the drivetrain offers torque vectoring, meaning the power being sent to each wheel can be adjusted to dial out understeer. The three options you have for the system? ‘Off’, ‘Agile’, and ‘Drift’.

Yes. Apparently, you can drift a Nissan BladeGlider. Which sounds both ridiculous and hilarious.

Other highlights of the design include the missing roof (yikes!) and dihedral doors, though it’s in the cabin that Nissan and Williams have gone properly full chat. The position of all three seats is reminiscent of the McLaren F1, each of which feature four-point race harness and an epoxy resin finish designed to stick passengers in place (again, ‘drift’ mode). The roll cage has been ripped straight out of the DeltaWing, and most of the instruments – including rear-facing cameras in place of mirrors – are mounted on the steering wheel. If you’ve received a thump on the head recently and think this all sounds perfectly for your daily commute, you’ll be thrilled to hear that the BladeGlider also comes in two colour trims, Cyber Green and Stealth Orange.

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