Nissan has unveiled the working prototype of its futuristic BladeGlider, combining zero-emissions with high-performance in a sports car design.

The two vehicles, developed from concept cars first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 2013, arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Olympic Games to symbolize future green technologies and tying in with environmental theme of the tournament.

Carlos Ghosn, president and chief executive officer, said:
“These prototypes epitomize Nissan’s drive to expand its Intelligent Mobility philosophy, where driving pleasure combines with environmental responsibility. It’s the electric vehicle for car lovers.”

The debut confirms Nissan’s commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies including autonomous drive systems and connectivity. Nissan already sells the world’s highest-volume zero-emission car, the LEAF, and is pioneering
Intelligent Mobility systems that will be deployed in a range of vehicles over coming years.

With the Bladeglider, Nissan’s vision was for an agile, efficient EV that would
provide new dimensions of driving fun and excitement – a car that would “glide,”
thanks to the near-silent performance of its electric powertrain and aerodynamic

The demonstration models feature an advanced chassis configuration with a narrow
front track and wider rear track for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and handling

High-waisted, rear-hinged dihedral doors provide a unique entry and exit to the
cabin. The open roof of Nissan BladeGlider is reinforced with an integrated roll-over
protection structure, mimicking an open-topped race car with the yet offering the safety of a coupe.

Wheel-mounted controls for systems feed into an advanced display showing speed, state of battery charge, regeneration mode and torque map. Flanking the central display are two screens, with the images of rear-view cameras mounted just behind the front wheels. An alternative to door-mounted mirrors, this dual screen design improves aerodynamic efficiency.

The driver sits in arrowhead formation slightly in front of two passengers, who enjoy extended legroom.

Power is 100 percent electric, with exceptional powertrain performance delivered by
Nissan’s technical partner for the project, the UK-based Williams
Advanced Engineering. Maximum speed of the demonstration models is in excess of
190 km/h, with 0-100 km/h taking less than five seconds. The rear wheels’ drive is provided by two 130kW electric motors – one for each wheel. The system features torque vectoring, so if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance.

keith [dot] morgan [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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