The latest innovation in sports car design from Nissan has made its way to Europe for the Geneva Motor Show.
Making its European debut is the BladeGlider, a sports concept that is intended to challenge the conventional thinking associated with performance, handling, braking and weight distribution.
It can be identified from a mile away, thanks to its arrowhead shape and its narrow front layout. This radical new design might see some observers becoming a bit sceptical over its potential, but Nissan has said the concept has proved itself on the track in testing. In fact, the manufacturer has gone as far as suggesting it could be the best-handling production car in the world.
The main reason for the model’s speed and efficient launch capabilities is its weight distribution. The rear tyres are much wider than those located at the front, allowing for more traction at the rear. This means better grip is achieved on the driving surface.
Furthermore, the wider rear track also helps to support the car’s heavier components, such as the two in-board motors, the lithium ion batteries. Passengers will also sit between the rear tyres, keeping the weight firmly at the back of the car.
The narrow front end also helps the car to cut through the air, minimising the negative effects of air drag. According to Nissan, the car has one of the lowest drag coefficients ever in a concept road model.
Nissan is most proud of the car’s handling abilities, suggesting it is the most impressive and remarkable advantage it holds over other conventional counterparts.
The thinner tyres, narrow front track and minimal weight all equate to better handling, despite the perceived notion that more weight is a more sensible way to achieve this.
Thinner tyres ensure the BladeGlider turns into corners more crisply, with only 30 per cent of the car’s total weight resting on them.
This narrow front end also allows the car to have minimal lateral weight transfer through the corners at both ends. Wider track models see weight shifting to the outside tyre when turning, meaning the inside tyre doesn’t do a great deal. With both tyres at the front located in close proximity, they both stay in good contact with the road surface to share the cornering load.
At the rear, the wider track helps to increase stability, with the front tyres handling the direction.
Another interesting innovation from Nissan is to ensure the rear brakes do more than the front ones when the car slows.
Nissan has said the ‘X-factor’ of the car lies in the driver’s positioning in the middle of the cockpit. This is because the chassis of the BladeGlider sends clear and immediate feedback to the driver, allowing them to adjust and react to the car’s movement.
It looks like it shouldn’t achieve what it can, but somehow it does. This is thanks to Nissan’s expert engineering and technical know-how, pushing the boundaries of driving performance like few others would dare to attempt.