The debut of the BladeGlider prototypes forms part of Nissan’s ongoing commitment to the development of zero-emission vehicles and new automotive technologies that include 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 Nissan-Renault vehicles over the coming years.
With the BladeGlider, Nissan’s vision was for an agile, efficient electric vehicle (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 shape.
After two years of work on design, engineering and development, the BladeGlider has evolved further into a roadgoing, real-life study into the potential of advanced EV performance. The BladeGlider epitomises Intelligent Mobility, Nissan’s philosophy to make its cars more exciting by redefining how they are driven, powered and integrated into society.
The demonstration models feature an advanced chassis configuration with a narrow front track and wider rear track for optimum aerodynamic efficiency and handling stability.
High-waisted, rear-hinged dihedral doors provide a dramatic entry and exit to the cabin. The BladeGlider’s open roof is reinforced with an integrated roll-over protection structure, providing the exhilaration of an open-topped racecar with the safety of a coupe.
Wheel-mounted controls for the BladeGlider’s 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 the aerodynamic efficiency of the BladeGlider. The driver sits in an arrowhead formation slightly in front of two passengers, who enjoy extended legroom. The view for all occupants is panoramic thanks to the seamless cockpit windscreen.
Power is 100 percent electric, with exceptional powertrain performance delivered by Nissan’s technical partner for the BladeGlider project, UK-based Williams Advanced Engineering. Maximum speed of the two BladeGlider prototypes is in excess of 190km/h, with 0-100km/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, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels and improving the handling even further. With torque vectoring, if the car starts to understeer, it automatically sends more torque to the outside wheel to restore the handling balance.
Designed to add to the driving experience rather than govern it, the torque vectoring system has three settings: Off, Agile and Drift.
Power is supplied by a high-performance, five-module lithium-ion 220kW battery. Bespoke cooling systems have been developed for both the battery and the motors.
The interior of the BladeGlider reflects the vehicle’s sporting intentions, with four-point safety harnesses for each occupant. The seats offer exceptional support to the sides and legs of the driver and passengers, and are trimmed in a highly tactile blend of fabric and epoxy resin coating, resulting in a tough and grippy material that has the effect of comfortably securing occupants in place.
There are two color trims – Cyber Green and Stealth Orange. These colours are used for the upper portions of the seatback and framed with a silver reflective material to create an eye-catching, sporty look. The base of the seats is in black, patterned material, with a band of green and orange trim framing the cushion.
Nissan’s electric vehicles will get “atomic” batteries.