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Nissan's awesome BladeGlider wows Tokyo Motor Show

The 2013 Tokyo Motor Show has everything from zero-emission sci-fi concepts to a jaw-dropping tractor. Check out some pics in our gallery.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
2 min read
Nissan BladeGlider
Tim Hornyak/CNET

TOKYO -- It's all too easy to fall under the spell of concept cars that automakers trot out at car shows. But some make it nearly irresistible.

Nissan showed off its BladeGlider electric vehicle concept at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, and it was the sickest set of wheels on the floor at Tokyo Big Sight.

One of several vehicles that seemed to be pulled from a sci-fi film (more "Tron" than "Blade Runner"), the three-seater has a knife-like shape and doors that swing up like wings.

Its profile recalls the 300-horsepower racer DeltaWing, and the interior has an arcade game-style driver pod.

"The BladeGlider provides a glimpse into the potential of Nissan's electric vehicle program," Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told a press conference. "EVs have unique characteristics that open up entirely new design possibilities, possibilities that our industry has yet to fully explore and realize."

The BladeGlider, which has two in-wheel motors in the rear, is supposed to give the driver the sensation of "gliding" over the road due to his or her center position in front of the two back seats.

While Ghosn referred to it as a concept, Nissan calls the BladeGlider a "prototype of an upcoming production vehicle."

The automaker, which is celebrating its 80th anniversary, also showed powerful cars in the GT-R series: a 2014 GT-R with 545 horsepower and the GT-R Nismo, which has 600 horsepower.

Toyota exhibited five world-premiere vehicles at the event, including the FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) Concept, FV2 (Fun Vehicle 2), and a next-generation taxi.

They were a few of the many bits of eye candy, including futuristic concepts such as the shape-shifting Kawasaki J three-wheel electric motorcycle, on display at Tokyo Big Sight. Check out some of the show cars and bikes in the gallery below.

Future wheels at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show (pictures)

See all photos