Nissan has unveiled its BladeGlider prototype - an all-electric concept car that showcases zero-emission, autonomous driving technology. The BladeGlider has been presented in Rio de Janeiro as part of Nissan's sponsorship of the 2016 Olympic Games.
The BladeGlider demonstrates a number of different ideas Nissan is working on, aiming to maximise efficiency but at the same time make sure electric vehicles are fun to drive. The unusual shape draws comparisons with the Nissan ZEOD RC (bottom right image), which entered the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2014 under the experimental 'Garage 56' rules.
It too had a narrow front track and wider rear, an enclosed coupe body, and had an electrified powertrain - which managed to complete the first all-electric lap of the famous race. The BladeGlider is less extreme in concept but still shares a number of features, and has McLaren F1 style seating for three with the driver ahead and centre in the cabin.
Power comes from William Advanced Engineering's electric powertrain, giving the BladeGlider a top speed of more than 115mph, with 0-62mph taking less than five seconds. Drive goes to the rear wheels, with each powered by a 130kW motor, drawing electricity from a 220kW battery. Special cooling systems have been developed for the high power electric powertrain, with Williams one of the world's leaders in the field having worked on Formula 1, Le Mans, and Formula E electrical components.
Despite looking like a concept, the title of Prototype is appropriate since there will be two models at Rio - one static, but the other offering rides to media and VIPs at the games. Look out for some of the ideas and technology making their way onto future Nissan electric vehicles.
Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said: "These prototypes epitomise Nissan's drive to expand its Intelligent Mobility philosophy, where driving pleasure combines with environmental responsibility. Nissan believes that enthusiasts should look forward to a zero emission future and BladeGlider is a perfect demonstration of that. Itís the electric vehicle for car-lovers."