As the movie awards season kicks into high gear, Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura appears to be implying that his company's electric-vehicle design prospects are about to go from Philomena into The Wolf of Wall Street territory.
It's a rare thing for pie-in-the-sky concepts to make production relatively unmolested. Edges are usually softened, mirrors made bigger and wheels shrunken into something that will be less backbreaking and easier to see out of on public roads. And while the essence of many concepts can still find their way into production, the wackier parts found in their concept forms often end up as nothing more than flights of fancy.
Similarity is bound to occur in an industry where most of the products follow the same basic formula. But once in a while a new design comes along that doesn't quite reinvent the wheel, but comes pretty damn close. The DeltaWing project was one such design – and Nissan, the car's designers allege, stole that design.
Just like the DeltaWing and ZEOD RC racecars, it takes seeing the Nissan BladeGlider concept live to get a true appreciation for its design. But that doesn't mean it's any less weird. The wedge-shaped, three-seat concept car hit the stage today at the Tokyo Motor Show, and Nissan says the car is an "exploratory prototype" for a future production model.
Radical reinvention of the automobile doesn't happen very often. There's a reason they refer to it as "reinventing the wheel", after all. But that's what a team of racecar designers did with the original DeltaWing concept in 2010. Originally proposed as an IndyCar racer, the project was subsequently redesigned for Le Mans. That's when Nissan got on board, supported the project for a few races, then took the design in its own direction with the ZEOD RC. And now it's taking it to the road... via t