The BladeGlider concept was first seen at the Tokyo motor show earlier this year
A production version of the model is expected to launch within three years
The three-seat prototype uses an all-electric powertrain
The BladeGlider's staggered track is key to its handling success, say bosses
The Nissan BladeGlider electric sports car could become a handling benchmark for the automotive industry.
That's according to Nissan's motorsports innovation boss Ben Bowlby, who told Autocar the BladeGlider could be: "The nicest handling car you will ever drive. That is what the goal is."
Bowlby joined Nissan last December to build the Zeod RC petrol-electric hybrid sports car. That model will form the Garage 56 experimental vehicle entry in next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
His fixation with the triangular concept traces back through the Nissan-backed Deltawing that raced at Le Mans in 2012, to an Indycar he developed when working for Ganassi Racing in the USA.
Having taken the concept to the road, Nissan forecasts the BladeGlider could be in production within three years. The car would sit below the more traditional Nissan 370Z in the company's lineup, and will cost signficantly less than £30,000, despite its high-tech electric powertrain.
Bowlby says the keys to its dynamic behaviour are the narrow front track, slick aerodynamics, dual in-wheel rear electric motors and large rear tyres.
“It's about efficiency, it's about pulling a lot of G, it's about an exciting and pleasurable ride and yet being very efficient while doing that," he said. "So extreme handling and extreme fun and a whole new experience, a totally different driving experience.”
Speaking at the Tokyo motor show, Nissan's engineering chief Andy Palmer said: "I've driven the prototype, and it is unlike anything I have sampled before.
"This is the car that takes advantage of all the packaging benefits of an electric powertrain. All that weight and the set-up of the front racks means that the car is incredibly pointy, but the rear track and downforce mean that you can catch the oversteer with amazing ease.”