When Dr. Don Panoz, the man largely behind the DeltaWing Coupe , saw the BladeGlider Concept , he probably didn’t take too kindly to its design, something he believes infringed on the look of the DeltaWing project.
Apparently, Panoz believes Nissan did just that, and he’s taking to the courts to issue a cease-and-desist order on the BladeGlider and the ZEOD RC — another car that bears a striking similarity to the Delta Wing project. While this piece of news might come as a surprise to a lot of people, it was actually months in the making for Panoz, who already had reservations when Nissan came out with the ZEOD RC, months after pulling out of the DeltaWing project.
And with the BladeGlider bearing the same design — the long nose cone, the narrow front track, and the wider rear track — Panoz knew that action needed to be taken, and take action he did, naming Nissan motorsport boss, Darren Cox, and former DelaWing colleague, Ben Bowlby, as part of the lawsuit.
Now, filing a lawsuit and seeing something done about it are two different things. Panoz accomplished the first one pretty easily, claiming infringement of intellectual property rights on Nissan’s part. The second part, though, will still be a matter of how the courts treat the issue.
What we do know is that this battle between Nissan and DeltaWing is just getting started.
Click past the jump to read about the 2012 NIssan DeltaWing and the 2013 Nissan BladeGlider Concept
The Nissan DeltaWing boasts one of the oddest-shaped bodies in racing history, as it features a long and thin nose backed up by a wing-like back end. This shape is to obviously keep the air drag to a minimum and the weight as low as possible. It definitely achieved the drag goal, as its coefficient of drag is only 0.35.
The entire body – tub and body panels – is made of a carbon composite and its chassis is an FIA-homologated, carbon-fiber monocoque. This construction helps keep the Delta Wing’s weight as low as possible, as it weighs just 475 kg (1,047 lbs) when empty and 575 kg (1,267 lbs) with the driver and fuel.
If there’s one thing we’ll admit about the BladeGlider Concept, it’s that it shares the DeltaWing’s rather unique, if not weird look. The rear track is much wider than the front, giving it a triangular footprint, and the long nose cone does give it a similar visual style to the DeltaWing.
That being said, Nissan has some serious plans to put the BladeGlider into production in the next couple years, possibly even with an electric drivetrain. A Nissan executive also confirmed that a prototype,which is based on the Ariel Ariel Atom , is already up and running. Having said that, the actual production car would use modern lightweight materials, including carbon-reinforced plastics, like those used in the BMW i Range, and in-wheel electric motors.