Nissan reveals electric sports car prototype

Ever thought about becoming a superhero? Nissan could help – and in an environmentally friendly way

Nissan's BladeGlider (pic: Nissan)

Nissan’s BladeGlider (pic: Nissan)

By Nilima Choudhury

Nissan is giving Batman’s Lucius Fox a run for his money with its new concept for an all-electric sports car.

Reminiscent of the infamous Batmobile, the Nissan BladeGlider is not without its techy geek-chic with an onboard IT system than can display not only maps but also atmospheric conditions.

The rear tyres will be fitted with its lithium-ion battery technology, first used in the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best-selling electric car, with about 85,000 sales so far.

“I think that the excitement of the racing car should be mirrored in the excitement of driving the road car,” said Ben Bowlby, director of Nissan Motorsport Innovation, who has supported the BladeGlider’s development.

“I think there are elements we can bring from the race track to make these future road cars more exciting, more fulfilling and give greater driving pleasure.”

Inside, the seats in the “cockpit”, as the company calls it, are arranged with the driver centre-forward and space for two people just behind.

But don’t get too excited, the BladeGlider is only at the prototype stage and when prompted, the company would not reveal when it would hit the market place.

(Pic: Nissan)

(Pic: Nissan)

Shiro Nakamura, Nissan’s senior vice president and chief creative officer said: “BladeGlider was conceived around delivering a glider-like exhilaration that echoes its lightweight, downsized hyper-efficient aerodynamic form.

“This design is more than revolutionary; it’s transformational, applying our most advanced electric drive-train technology and racetrack-inspired styling in the service of a new dimension of shared driving pleasure.”

Nissan recently found further success with a joint venture to explore electric vehicles with fellow Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors.

However, in a recent interview with the Financial Times, Carlos Ghosn of Renault-Nissan Alliance, the first industrial and commercial partnership involving a French and a Japanese company, admitted it would miss its electric vehicle target to sell 1.5 million cars between them by 2016.

Ghosn attributed this to a lack of charging points for the vehicles.

“I don’t think the main issue today is the cost of the car. The main issue is infrastructure. It is normal. I would not buy a gasoline car if there were no gasoline stations.”

But recent research has said consumer demand, government incentives and new players including German manufacturers like BMW that have entered the market should revive the sector.

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