Nissan BladeGlider is back: Deltawing-style electric car prototype appears in Rio

Nissan brings back its delta-shaped electric sports car with its latest prototype

Back in 2013 Nissan unveiled a concept called the BladeGlider. Today, the BladeGilder is back, at least in prototype form, making an appearance in Rio de Janeiro.

Inspired by the firm’s efforts in Le Mans with cars like the Deltawing and ZEOD RC, the BladeGlider is a delta-shaped four-wheeled sports car with an electric powertrain.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

Nissan’s partner on the BladeGlider project, Williams Advanced Engineering, developed the drivetrain. It uses an electric motor for each rear wheel, developing 130kW each – equivalent to 174bhp per wheel – while energy comes from a 220kW lithium-ion battery pack.

That’s the battery’s output, of course – the battery’s capacity (typically measured in kilowatt-hours, rather than kilowatts) is unconfirmed, and no range or recharging time figures are quoted.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

There’s enough juice to punch the 1300kg BladeGlider to an estimated sub-5-second 0-62mph time, while top speed is quoted as ‘in excess of 118mph’.

Due to the dual-motor setup, the BladeGilder’s drivetrain offers a torque vectoring function, adjusting power to each wheel as required to optimise the car’s handling characteristics. Those can be adjusted by the driver too, by either turning the system off entirely or by switching it to ‘agile’ and ‘drift’ modes.

Thanks to the BladeGlider’s unusual exterior form, its interior is equally odd. We’ve certainly seen the driver and passenger seating layout before – it’s identical to the McLaren F1 supercar – and those passengers enter through rear-hinged dihedral doors. There’s a full rollover structure in the roof, clearly inspired by that of the ZEOD race car.

Many of the car’s controls are located on the steering wheel, which sits in front of a central display and features rear-view video screens to either side – fed by exterior cameras, for a more aerodynamic option than traditional mirrors.

Nissan president Carlos Ghosn describes it as an ‘electric vehicle for car-lovers’ – something its volume production Leaf hasn’t quite achieved – and sees it as a real-life study into the potential of advanced electric vehicle performance.

Two have been created so far, both of which will debut in Rio – one on static display, and one ferrying media and VIPs over the period of the games. Production, however, is something of a long shot.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/nissan/370z/201935/750bhp-time-attack-nissan-370z-shown-at-sema
Nissan 370Z

750bhp Time Attack Nissan 370Z shown at SEMA 

7 Nov 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201904/992-porsche-911-carrera-s-manual-finally-detailed
Porsche 911

992 Porsche 911 Carrera S manual finally detailed

31 Oct 2019
Visit/electric-cars/201903/they-may-impress-in-some-ways-but-electric-cars-mostly-leave-meaden-cold
electric cars

'They may impress in some ways, but electric cars mostly leave Meaden cold'

30 Oct 2019
Visit/alpine/a110/201902/2019-alpine-a110-s-review-has-frances-brilliant-sports-car-been-spoilt
Alpine A110

2019 Alpine A110 S review - has France's brilliant sports car been spoilt?

28 Oct 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/caterham/201924/caterham-620r-v-ariel-atom-35-v-elemental-rp1
Caterham

Caterham 620R v Ariel Atom 3.5 v Elemental Rp1

Flight Club - lightweight track day toys with heavyweight powertrains, Steve Sutcliffe compares them on track at Anglesey circuit in Wales
5 Nov 2019
Visit/alfa-romeo/21322/alfa-romeo-to-launch-new-700bhp-8c-and-600bhp-gtv-coupe
Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo culls sports car programme in wake of FCA merger

Italian’s future performance models killed off in favour of more profitable SUVs
11 Nov 2019
Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-hot-hatchback-teased-successor-to-the-grmn-and-a-true-wrc
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 hot hatchback teased – successor to the GRMN and a true WRC homologation special

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
6 Nov 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019