Nissan Being Sued Over Bladeglider Design

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Compare the DeltaWing to the Bladeglider; you'll understand why.

If anyone thought that Nissan's Bladeglider EV sports car looks kind of like the DeltaWing race car, then you're not alone. The DeltaWing, as you may recall, was initially part of a Nissan racing program that took the car all the way to Le Mans. Then Nissan decided to opt out of the project altogether, forcing its original backer, DeltaWing Project 56 run by Don Panoz, to seek out new sponsors. However, the story doesn't end there.

Not long ago Nissan revealed its Bladeglider concept, and low and behold it looks suspiciously like the DeltaWing. DeltaWing Project 56 felt the same so it has now filed a civil suit against Nissan as well as BladeGlider designer Ben Bowlby, who was also involved with the DeltaWing's design. Bowlby now works for Nissan. This is not just a matter of having a similar design; DeltaWing Project 56 is claiming it spent tens of millions of dollars developing and proving that this design technology works. Therefore, it's seeking a cease-and-desist order that would effectively prevent Nissan from displaying, racing or selling cars with that design.

Panoz and crew want to license this wedge-shaped technology to automakers on their own. Nissan was clearly impressed with the design considering it lured away the DeltaWing's designer and had him create the Bladeglider not long after. Everybody else in the market would be open to that kind of design," stated Panoz. "And what do automobile companies do? They see something that's taking off and they want to mimic it, don't they?"

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