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Geneva 2011 Preview: Nissan ESFLOW


Nissan to debut new electric sports car concept

Nissan has a reputation for creating some of the most exhilarating sports cars on the market. Now Nissan has put that expertise together. It has captured the excitement of a sports car and the environmental benefits of an electric vehicle and blended them into one dramatic two-seater concept: ESFLOW.

ESFLOW has been created from the ground up as a pure electric vehicle, to give an idea how a Zero Emission sports car of the future might look. Living ecologically has often been seen as an act of austerity - to save one's environmental conscience sacrifices must be made, thus the ESFLOW is Nissan's answer to that misconception.

The ESFLOW is based on existing technology that implemented in innovative ways. An attractive, head turning composite body covers an aluminum chassis, incorporating its own roll cage. The powertrain unit, which employs the same technologies installed in the Nissan LEAF, is tuned to offer a sporty driving experience.

The briefest glance at the ESFLOW indicates its sportscar inclinations: a long bonnet leading into a steeply raked, wrap around windscreen, the compact cabin placing the occupants bang on the car's center of gravity, hunched arches over ultra-low profile tires wrapped around six spoke wheels. ESFLOW is unmistakably a sports car, and those in the know will recognize its heritage - hints of classic and contemporary Nissan sports cars abound.

The, ESFLOW is not powered by an internal combustion engine, instead it has been adapted to run on electricity for zero emissions. This means that Nissan's designers have had free rein to place the power train and batteries in the optimum positions to benefit the car's handling and performance and enhancing the thrill of driving.

ESFLOW is rear-wheel drive and it runs on two motors. The car's proportions allow the twin electric motors to be placed above the axis of the rear wheels, in a mid-ship position. These motors independently control the left and right wheels, and so the torque is optimized to ensure outstanding vehicle stability and control as well as efficient power regeneration. The motors produce enough torque in an instant for it to reach 100kph in under 5 seconds.

Power for the motors comes from the same laminated lithium-ion battery packs used in the Nissan LEAF, but in ESFLOW the packs are located along the axis of the front and rear wheels. This centralizes the mass of the car, and thus its rotation point, close to the driver's hips. These cleverly positioned batteries enable the car to travel over 240km on one charge.

The ESFLOW concept will be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show (3-13 March) where it will share the Nissan stand with a number of other innovative and exciting newcomers like the LEAF and the Micra DIG-S. The new 2012 GT-R will also be on display, along with the new 370Z GT Editon.
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