Nissan’s BladeGlider electric sports car concept is part dragster, part wheeled airplane cockpit

Forget driving, Nissan’s latest electric sports car concept is all about gliding.

Nissan says the BladeGlider concept – set to unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show later this month – was designed to give drivers “sustainable exhilaration”, an eco-friendly form of driving pleasure stemming from the car’s zero-emission powertrain.

The BladeGlider certainly doesn’t look like most cars. It’s narrow front track and wide rear are shared with the DeltaWing and ZEOD RC racers, and help reduce drag while still creating downforce for better grip, Nissan says.

Downforce pushes the car onto the road, allowing the tires to grip better. While downforce is great for traction, it’s bad for speed, as it causes drag. And drag is the enemy of performance engineers.

Normally the two go hand-in-hand, but according to Nissan, most of the BladeGlider’s downforce is generated by the underbody, allowing the topside to present a smooth, slippery shape to the wind.

Like any high-tech sports car worth its salt, the BladeGlider has bodywork made from a lightweight material, in this case carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.

Underneath the radical skin is an equally radical powertrain. Electric sports cars are nothing new, but the BladeGlider uses in-wheel motors, a first for Nissan. They’re fed by lithium-ion battery modules strategically located to lower the car’s center of gravity for better handling.

Things get weirder once you open the LaFerrari-like doors. The cockpit seats three in a triangular formation, with the driver seated in the middle. It’s just like a McLaren F1, or a spaceship.

However, the most remarkable thing about the BladeGlider may be that Nissan is hinting at a production version. According to the company’s release, the deltoid sports car isn’t just a concept, it’s an “exploratory prototype of an upcoming production vehicle.”

It might be a little too soon to put down a deposit, though. At the very least, Nissan probably wants to gauge the public’s reaction to the BladeGlider when it debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show, which opens November 20.

What do you think of it? Would you buy an electric sports car like this? Tell us in the comments.

Cars

2020 Nissan 370Z Special Edition celebrates 50 Years of the Z car

Nissan is celebrating 50 years of its iconic "Z car" with a special edition of the 2020 370Z. The 50th-anniversary model is dressed to look like a 1970s race car, but remains technically unchanged.
Gaming

Retailer may have leaked The Last of Us Part 2 release date

A Slovakian retailer published a listing for The Last of Us Part 2, including a potential 2019 release date and box art. This leak comes shortly after an announcement that filming for the lead actors is complete.
Gaming

The Last of Us Part 2 finishes capturing its main characters’ performances

Calling it the most "ambitious cinematic shoot" the team has ever done, Naughty Dog revealed that the motion-capture performances for the main characters in The Last of Us Part II are finished.
Cars

The VR goggles you wear to shoot alien ships is helping Magna design car parts

Canadian automotive supplier Magna has started using virtual reality in its research and development department. The technology helps engineers get a better view of what they're working on, whether it's an interior part or a powertrain.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners which charging stations are occupied

Google has just beefed up its Maps app with extra data to help EV owners find the nearest charging station. Drivers can also find out about the number and types of ports available, and whether they're occupied.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Tesla taxis, NYC auto show, and Sony’s 8K TV

On the latest episode of DT Live, we discuss Tesla's autonomous taxi plans, a Face ID lawsuit against Apple,, choosing imperfect produce, the release of Mortal Kombat 11, sustainable fashion, and more.
Buying Guides

The best hatchbacks for 2019 are small in size and big on tech

The hatchback segment isn't huge, but there are still plenty of good options to choose from. Here, we've rounded up the best hatchbacks available in America, whether you're a fan of efficiency or looks.
Cars

Keep your driving record squeaky clean with these top-flight radar detectors

Nobody likes getting a speeding ticket, but these gadgets can help. Check out our picks for the best radar detectors on the market, from the likes of Valentine One, Escort, and Beltronics.
Apple

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…
Cars

GPS units aren't dead! Our favorite models still do things your phone can't

Love hitting the open road but hate having to rely solely on your phone for getting around? Thankfully, the best in-car GPS systems will allow you to navigate and capitalize on a range of features sans your cellular network. Here are our…
Cars

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.
Cars

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.
Cars

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.
Cars

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.