Nissan has confirmed details about the cars it will bring to the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show floors that opens its doors in about two weeks’ time on November 19 (for the press).
Highlighting Nissan’s presence at the show are two special models: the futuristic looking three-seat BladeGlider Concept that will spawn a production model within the next couple of years, and which we get to see, and the new GT-R Nismo Edition, which we don’t see now.
If you haven’t figured it out already, the BladeGlider is the sports car Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer was talking about in a recent interview with MotorTrend magazine in which he described the Toyota GT86 / Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ as cars “designed for a 50-year-old”.
Nissan’s answer to the 20-something of our times is the BladeGlider, which looks pretty nice from some specific angles and completely strange from all the rest, mainly because of its lopsided design reminiscent of Nissan’s Deltawing and ZEOD RC electric racecar prototypes, in which the front end is much narrower than the rear.
Nissan says that the design with a narrow 1.0-meter (39.4 inches) lightweight front track and wide, stable rear track, helps “reduce drag and enhance maneuverability for high G cornering power, assisted by a 30/70 front/rear weight distribution ratio”.
From the few technical details released, we learn that the BladeGlider sports a lightweight carbon-fiber underbody, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) exterior body and in-wheel electric motors.
“When BladeGlider matures into a production car, it could be Nissan’s first use of in-wheel motors,” says Nissan. “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 company adds.
In a similar fashion to the McLaren F1, the three-seat car positions the driver in the center and up front, with the two passengers squeezed on either side and towards the rear.
Apparently, Nissan’s goal with the BladeGlider is to invigorate the sports car segment with something completely new and fresh.
“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,” commented Francois Bancon, division general manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning at Nissan.
Besides the BladeGlider and the still under the wraps GT-R Nismo, Nissan’s Tokyo Motor Show booth will play host to several other models, including the Dayz mini and Dayz Rook minivan, Teana sedan, X-Trail SUV and Elgrand minivan.