With Williams’ help on the electric powertrain front, Nissan has built two BladeGliders – they are currently impressing the great and the good on Olympic duty in Rio de Janeiro. They are both fully operational prototypes. That’s unusual in itself – so often show cars disappear without trace – and begs the obvious question: when can we buy one?
But first: would you want to buy one? After going through the BladeGlider’s spec, GRR reckons the answer to that is a definite yes. Here’s a dramatic-looking sportster a little shorter than a Porsche Cayman, with a central driving position flanked by two passenger seats a la McLaren F1. It has enough juice from the underfloor lithium-ion battery pack to power a pair of electric motors within the rear wheels, each rated at 174bhp. Top speed of the prototypes may not be great at 115mph but a sub-5sec 0-62mph time is pretty nifty for a car that weighs in at 1,300kg.
Being electric, torque is instant and also abundant, with 521 lb ft available. No surprise then there’s a torque vectoring program aboard to make sure this rear-wheel-driven machine stays on the straight and narrow. The inclusion of a drift mode, however, backs up Nissan’s assertion that with BladeGlider it wanted to demonstrate just how much fun an electric sports car could be. A Nissan Leaf this ain’t.