Vehicle Reports & Reviews: Nissan BladeGlider Prototype
More and more manufacturers are starting to jump on board with the move toward electronic vehicles and that is increasingly starting to include more performance cars. Nissan, who first hit the EV scene with the initially popular Nissan Leaf, has returned to the arena with an updated version of its BladeGlader prototype. (In recent sales numbers the Tesla Model 3 has cut into the sales of the Leaf significantly in the electronic vehicle segment.)
Nissan first introduced the BladeGlider at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show, at which point it looked quite similar to the Ben Bowlby-designed DeltaWing (which had a Nissan engine). Since then, the concept car has evolved a bit, ditching some of the elements that didn’t work while still maintaining the sleek, cutting-edge components that made it so interesting in the first place.
The BladeGlider has maintained it’s “1+2” seat layout with the driver’s seat in front and two passenger seats in the back. Because of the unique seat layout, the body of the vehicle allows for a very slim, if somewhat strange looking, angularity to it.
The inside of the BladeGlider is just as futuristic as its exterior design, with a distinct cockpit like feel from the driver’s seat. Everything is digital and high-tech, including screens that provide informational displays to the front-mounted rear-facing cameras that act as modern mirrors.
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Nissan’s Future & Innovative Technologies
The most recent iteration of the BladeGlider is its final form according to Nissan, but they say it will not hit sales floors for at lest 2-3 years still. They have not set an anticipated selling price at this point.
The design of the BladeGlider is part of Nissan’s recent commitment to “intelligent mobility.” It represents a long-term goal of ushering in an era of driver confidence, integrated technology, and electric power efficiency. Part of this plan is closely tied to zero emission vehicles that are entirely powered by electricity.
Here are some of the features that Nissan hopes will propel the BladeGlider to the forefront of high-tech driving:
Safety technology – Many of the features of the BladeGlider center around driver safety and comfort. Things like lane change warnings and forward emergency braking are part of that equation, along with autonomous driving. Nissan is set to release the first piloted drive car in Europe, the Qashqai, in 2017.
Driving range – An increased driving range is always at or near the top of the list of improvements that drivers of electric vehicles would like to see. Nissan has responded with an increased driving range for the BladeGlider, with a range of nearly 350 miles and an increased charging time.
Connected cars – Connected cars, or those vehicles that are able to connect to the internet and share information inside and outside of the vehicle. The potential benefits of this technology are far-reaching, particularly in terms of safety and traffic flow.