Nissan's New Concept Car 'Feels Like Flying'

Oct. 8, 2009
The car, named Land Glider, can move in a three dimensional way, says Nissan.

Nissan unveiled on Oct. 8 a futuristic concept car that tilts to the side when going around bends to make drivers feel like they are gliding through the air.

The zero-emission electric "Land Glider" seats two people -- one in the front and one in the back.

Just 1.1 meters (3.6 feet) wide, it can easily squeeze into tight parking spaces and through narrow streets.

"In the past a car used to move only in a two dimensional way but the Land Glider can move in a three dimensional way," said Nissan's Ryusuke Hayashi, who is overseeing the project. "Although you are driving on the road, you feel as if you are flying," he said at a preview of the car.

Inspired by motorbikes and glider aircraft, the four-wheel car has tilting wheels and moving fenders that enable it to lean by up to 17 degrees. Special sensors calculate the best tilt for negotiating a corner.

Instead of a steering wheel, it has airplane-style controls. With a cocoon-like cabin and a body designed to look like it is protected with armour, the Land Glider also aims to give motorists a sense of security.

The vehicle will be on display at this month's Tokyo Motor Show -- which opens to the public from October 24 to November 4 -- along with the electric Leaf that Nissan plans to launch late next year.

Japan's number three automaker will also display a chunky concept sports crossover, Qazana, that looks halfway between a tank and a beach buggy and aims to put some of the fun back into driving.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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