Nissan has unveiled its ground-breaking BladeGlider electric car prototype in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with Williams Advanced Engineering playing an important role in the car’s creation as Nissan’s technical partner.
The BladeGlider concept has a rich history already, having first been seen as a concept car at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan capitalised on Williams Advanced Engineering’s expertise in electric powertrains, aerodynamics and chassis dynamics to build two prototypes at the Williams factory in Grove, Oxfordshire. One will be on static display in Rio de Janeiro at the Olympic Park, while the second will be used in Rio for dynamic rides to select media and VIPs.
Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said: “These prototypes epitomise Nissan’s drive to expand its Intelligent Mobility strategy, 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. It’s the electric vehicle for car-lovers.”
The demonstration vehicles feature an advanced three seat conceptual configuration with a narrow front track and wider rear track for enhanced aerodynamic efficiency and chassis dynamics. The vehicle layout also features a very focused central driving position which further accentuates the sense of driver involvement. The fully electric concept, which was designed as a glimpse into the future of electric vehicles (EVs), features exceptional performance delivered by Williams Advanced Engineering’s battery and motor technology with a top speed in excess of 118mph (190km/h), with 0-62mph (0-100km/h) taking less than five seconds.
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 open roof of BladeGlider is reinforced with an integrated roll-over protection structure, providing the exhilaration of an open-topped race car with the safety of a coupé.
Wheel-mounted controls for 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 BladeGlider. The driver sits in 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.
BladeGlider’s system features torque vectoring, controlling the torque delivered to the driven wheels, 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 systems has three settings: off, agile and drift mode.
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 vehicles’ sporting intentions, with four point safety harnesses for each occupant. The seats offer exceptional support to sides and legs of the driver and passengers. The seats 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 adhering occupants securely in place.
There are two colour trims – Cyber Green and Stealth Orange. These colours are used for the upper portions of the seat back, and framed with a silver reflective material to create an eye-catching, sporty look. The base of the seats are in black, patterned material, with a band of green and orange trim framing the cushion.
The distinctive triangluar BladeGlider concept follows the form established in racing cars including the Nissan Deltawing and hybrid Nissan ZEOD RC that was entered into Garage 56 at Le Mans in 2014. BladeGlider further builds on a successful collaborative relationship between Williams Advanced Engineering and Nissan on a number of previous projects.
Speaking about the project Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering, said; “At Williams Advanced Engineering we like to use our expertise in automotive engineering to help customers push the boundaries with their new products. This is exactly what Nissan is doing with BladeGlider, a real-life study that shows the potential of EV cars in terms of styling and performance. We were delighted to be involved with the project and Nissan’s forward-thinking approach to EVs.”
Daniele Schillaci, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., added; “Thanks to the partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering on the BladeGlider project, Nissan has been able to explore the potential for a high performance EV under the philosophy of Nissan Intelligent Mobility. With BladeGlider, we want to challenge the public’s expectations of what an EV could look like and the performance it can deliver.”
|Top speed||190 km/h (115 mph)*|
|Acceleration 0-62 mph (100 kmh)||5 seconds|
|Power||200 kW (268hp)|
* Figures recorded by Williams Advanced Engineering
Source; Nissan & Williams Advanced Engineering