Nissan ESFLOW

Carsguide ·

11 February 2011

Ready for its debut at this month's Geneva motor show, the Nissan Esflow concept coupe is based on the technology of Nissan's global plug-in electric hatchback, the Leaf.

It is the second all-electric car in the budding "Zero Emission" family that includes the Leaf and is expected to quickly expand into commercial vans under the Nissan and Renault nameplates.

"Owning an ecologically sound car does not have to come at the expense of driving enjoyment," Nissan says.

The two-seat Esflow demonstrates the flexibility - in design and drivetrain layout - of electric propulsion.  It uses all the drivetrain technology already employed by Nissan in the Leaf hatch - now rolling out sales around the world - and is heavily hinted as being a production-viable car.

"Esflow is not an existing ICE (internal-combustion engine) powered vehicle that has been adapted to run on electricity," Nissan says.  "It is a sports car that's been designed from the outset as a Zero Emission vehicle.

"This means that Nissan 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."

The Esflow has two electric motors - each turning a rear wheel to eliminate a differential and drive shafts - and Nissan claims a sub-five second sprint to 100km/h.  The aluminium-composite body of the coupe mounts its lightweight, flat-profile laminated lithium batteries under the floor for a low centre of gravity.

Nissan claims a range of up to 240km and a 0-100km/h sprint of less than five seconds.  Nissan says the heaviest components in modern cars' interiors are "the steel framed, thickly upholstered and increasingly motorised seats".

"In Esflow the seats are sculpted into the rear bulkhead of the car, negating the need for a heavy frame."

Though the seats are immobile, the fly-by-wire steering and pedals adjust electrically to suit the driver's size and preferred driving position.

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Published 11 February 2011