TOKYO - Nissan BladeGlider, debuting at the Tokyo Motor Show, is both the future direction of Nissan electric vehicles and an exploratory prototype of the Nissan ZEOD RC from the world's leading EV manufacturer.
The project, led by Francois Bancon, division general manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning at Nissan, has developed a deltoid-shape vehicle with a narrow front track that challenges the orthodoxy that has dominated the roads since the earliest days of the internal combustion engine.
"The goal was to revolutionize the architecture of the vehicle to provoke new emotions, provide new value and make visible for consumers how Zero Emissions can help redefine our conception of vehicle basics," said Bancon.
BladeGlider has its conceptual roots in the soaring, silent, panoramic freedom of a glider and the triangular shape of a high performance "swept wing" aircraft, looking to achieve low drag while generating road-hugging downforce.
BladeGlider shares sustainable engineering values with both Nissan LEAF and the Nissan ZEOD RC (Zero Emission On Demand Racing Car), which will run at next year's Le Mans 24 Hour race.
With its narrow, 1.0-meter lightweight front track and wide, stable rear track, BladeGlider's front wheels reduce drag and enhance maneuverability for high G cornering power, assisted by a 30/70 front/rear weight distribution ratio.
Aerodynamic downforce is created by the highly rigid yet lightweight carbon-fiber underbody, hence the lack of drag-inducing wings.
When BladeGlider matures into a production car, it could be Nissan's first use of in-wheel motors. 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.
To power the electric motors, BladeGlider employs Nissan's innovative lithium-ion battery technology, with the modules mounted low and toward the rear to enhance stability and handling.
Its tightly streamlined body comprises a tough and structurally-optimized chassis wrapped in ultra-lightweight, yet strong and stiff, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) finished in a pearlescent white color that evokes the pristine freedom of a glider.
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