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RPM TV Website | September 22, 2021

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Nissan’s BladeGlider concept promises EV excitement

Nissan’s BladeGlider concept promises EV excitement
Deon Schoeman

Nissan has chosen the 2016 Olympic Games host city Rio de Janeiro as the backdrop for the unveiling of a zero-emissions prototype aimed at delivering an engaging, athletic driving experience.

The BladeGlider is based on a concept first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, and demonstrates how environmental responsibility and intelligent mobility can be combined in a package that also delivers driving enjoyment.

At the same time, the adventurous prototype clearly seeks to address the fuddy-duddy image of all-electric, zero emissions vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which may be the world’s highest volume electric car, but doesn’t exactly get the pulse racing in pure dynamic terms.

While the BladeGlider is fully electric, it harnesses several daring design approaches and new technologies to elevate the driving experience, with agility, efficiency and engagement key objectives.

The dart-shaped sports car has a narrow front track and wide rear track to boost aerodynamic efficiency, with rear-hinged dihedral doors adding to the prototype’s visual drama. An open roof provides wind-in-the-hair excitement.

The unusual three-seater cabin arranges the three bucket seats in a triangular configuration, with the driver seated in the centre and slightly ahead of the two passenger seats – an arrangement reminiscent of the famous, Gordon Murray-designed McLaren F1 supercar.

This layout ensures ample legroom for all three occupants, as well as an unencumbered, panoramic view through the large, curved windscreen.The cockpit ergonomics feature steering wheel-mounted controls, a centrally located colour information display, and rear-view camera displays instead of conventional exterior mirrors.

The all-electric drivetrain consists of a pair of 130 kW electric motors, each driving a rear wheel. Torque vectoring controls power delivery to the individual wheels to and to counter oversteer or understeer when cornering. The vectoring level can be adjusted to deliver a livelier, more entertaining driving experience if required.

The two electric motors are fed by a five-module lithium-ion battery, while purpose-designed cooling systems keep the battery and the motors at optimum operating temperatures.

Claimed performance is swift, and certainly not fuddy-duddy: the BladeGlider zips form rest to 100 km/h in 4,5 sec, and has a claimed top speed of 190 km/h.

Even Usain Bolt will struggle to beat that – and the BladeGlider will be a lot stealthier, too …

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