Tokyo Motor Show official: Nissan BladeGlider image

The Japanese company has officially introduced during the Tokyo Motor Show its futuristic concept, the BladeGlider – which actually previews an upcoming production model.

Nissan BladeGlider is both a proposal for the future direction of Nissan electric vehicle (EV) development and an exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle – a stylish roadster with a delta wing shape that promises to “reduce drag while generating downforce to enhance maneuverability and road-hugging performance.”

Francois Bancon, division general manager of Product Strategy and Product Planning at Nissan, led the project. “The goal was to revolutionize the architecture of the vehicle to provoke new emotions, provide new value and make visible for consumers how Zero Emissions can help redefine our conception of vehicle basics,” said Bancon.

BladeGlider’s shape alone, with its narrow front track, challenges the orthodoxy that has dominated the roads since the earliest days of the internal combustion engine. The model has its conceptual roots in two aerial images: the soaring, silent, panoramic freedom of a glider and the triangular shape of a high performance “swept wing” aircraft.

The cockpit has a McLaren F1-style three person seating arrangement and an aircraft-inspired steering wheel. The car also has high tech instrumentation.

Performance specifications were not released but Nissan says the concept has rear in-wheel electric motors that are powered by a lithium-ion battery. The BladeGlider also has a 30 / 70 front to rear weight distribution and a “structurally optimized chassis” that is wrapped in carbon fiber reinforced plastic.