Nissan’s latest models are on display at the picturesque Sodegura Forest Raceway in Japan. Nissan Intelligent Mobility, a division of Nissan, is a foresight-oriented company that builds cars to define mobility in at least 20 years. The future of mobility will be electric, and it is no longer a secret. That is why a number of electric concepts and cars surround us.
Nissan presented us with a whole fleet of vehicles built under the Nissan Intelligent Mobility banner. The Bladeglider was there, as well as the LEAF Nismo RC. The Bladeglider supercar is a racecar, while the Leaf Nismo RC car is a supercar. The e-Power and Serena are futuristic adaptations of today’s vehicles. We test drive these cars to see how they perform and feel and if they are a benchmark of cars for tomorrow.
New Mobility Concept Vehicle
What would the Smart ForTwo look like in 20 years? It would certainly be more intelligent and similar to this four-wheeled gadget that is meant to be your errand partner. The car is an electric futuristic vehicle that was designed to respond to the increasing number of seniors and households with only one member, as well as the increased use of automobiles by two or more people for short-distance trips in urban environments.
You’d be half right if you thought this was one of the flashy cars you see in museums. It’s dazzling but also elegant. The car was given a short, twisty route to test its parking and maneuverability. We loved it. It took a bit of effort to steer, but it was still a car with enough power and handling to suit its purpose. The car’s motor is neatly mounted at the back of the vehicle, and it drives the rear wheels. It is powered by a lithium-ion 6.1KWh battery. The car is only 2.32m long and 1.19m wide. This makes it perfect for urban driving. We think that with a 100km driving range per charge, this is also ideal for Indian conditions.
Nissan Leaf Nismo RC
Now, let’s move on to the racing car. It’s a dream to be able to hold the wheel of a Nismo, no matter if it’s a Leaf. This is the unassuming electric car that you’ll find in the busy neighborhoods of the Business District. The Leaf Nismo RC, a carbon fiber prototype that is track-ready and has a 100% zero-emission Li-ion battery powertrain, is a stunning creation. It’s not surprising that, as a racecar, the car is a stripped-down version.
The car is powered by a 48-module lithium-ion cell and an 80kW AC synchronous engine that produces 107bhp, 280Nm, and torque. It can be charged to 80 percent of its capacity in just 30 minutes with the CHAdeMO fast-charging port found inside the rear cowl. It’s also quick. Nissan claims that it can reach a top speed of around 150kmph in 6.8 seconds. We can’t dispute those figures as we did two fast laps. There is no lag, and the acceleration is very quick. The Leaf Nismo RC’s carbon fiber chassis and racing tires gave it incredible grip around corners. The two laps were completed in a blink of an eye. Are we going to see a Nismo RC Cup that is only made once? You never know.
Nissan also had made some very clever changes to one of its family cars. This girl next door was actually a pop star. Nissan launched its e-POWER drive system in 2016 on the popular Note compact family models. Nissan achieved a major milestone by making the technology available to consumers for the first time.
The ePOWER system is a full-electric-motor-drive system, which means that an electric motor drives all four wheels. Power from a high-output lithium-ion battery is sent to the e-POWER compact powertrain, which consists of a petrol motor, power generator, and inverter. The petrol engine does not power the wheels but charges the battery that powers them. Once you understand what is happening under the hood, driving the ePOWER can be a great experience. The torque is instantaneous, and the power delivery is smooth. Nissan claims a fuel efficiency of nearly 40kmpl, which is amazing. In a nutshell, the e-POWER provides all of the benefits of an EV while not having to worry about battery charging. This is a brilliant product when considering the mileage-obsessed Indian buyers. Nissan has not confirmed, but this is the first Nissan Intelligent Mobility product to be launched in India.
Nissan Serena ProPilot
Without moms, the world wouldn’t be what it is today. Nissan Serena, the minivan of the future, had us impressed from the first moment we saw it. The MPV is a large, bold vehicle that would be a real eye-catcher if it were to land in India. The Serena was not only beautiful, but it had a trump card that made us very impressed when we drove around Japan.
What does Serena ProPilot actually do? Nissan has made a major step in the field of autonomous driving by introducing Serena ProPilot. ProPILOT, an autonomous driving technology for highways in single-lane traffic, is designed to be used on the road. Nissan is the only Japanese automaker that has introduced a steering, acceleration, and braking system that can operate in fully automatic mode. This reduces driver workload during heavy highway traffic or long commutes.
The application was also simple. You press the ProPILOT on the steering wheel, select the desired speed with cruise control, and wait a few moments for the system to adjust itself. We’ve all ridden in a car as a passenger or backseat passenger, but driving in the driver’s seat is a unique and eerie experience. The steering automatically corrects itself.
ProPILOT uses advanced image processing technology to understand road and traffic conditions and perform precise steering, allowing the vehicle’s performance to be natural. It’s also not expensive, and it is available for $2000 (approx. Serena comes with an option that costs Rs. 1.3 lakh. The technology is in its early stages, and it is more of a technology that assists than one that is fully autonomous. It only operates on multilane highways with clearly marked lanes.
What is the number that best defines a supercar? The time from zero to 100kmph. BladeGlider can do it in under 5 seconds and reach speeds of up to 190kmph. The BladeGlider is a 100 percent electric car powered by a lithium-ion battery with 260kW of power. Two 130kW motors, one for each rear wheel, provide the ability to drive them. They produce 268bhp with a huge 707Nm torque. The performance of the car, as we saw it from the rear seat, was pure electric. We wouldn’t be shocked if this thing eradicated a lot of combustion engine-powered cars on a racetrack. The BladeGlider will not be produced, but it is the basis of many sportscars in the future.
The ePOWER is the most likely next step. However, cost will play a major role. After a hectic journey to the Land of the Rising Sun, we wonder what Nissan has in store for us. Does it start with an X or a different trail? Keep an eye on us, and you’ll get your answer very soon.