Microsoft, Magic Car Pics
With the Nissan LEAF electric car now firmly on sale - and basking in its Car of the Year title - Nissan has been turning its attention further afield. It's beaten everyone else with the first mainstream EV. Now, what about an EV sports car?
The ESFLOW debuts the idea: it's in concept form right now, but apparently shares technology with the LEAF - meaning a version of it COULD potentially become reality in the next few years?
After all, Nissan has not only built the GT-R, but also made it even more ferocious for 2011. AND it has launched a supercharged version of the Nissan Micra, that emits just 95g/km CO2. It also sells cars in more sectors than any other brand in Europe. After all that, how hard can a sports car EV be...
2011 Nissan ESFLOW
What is it?
Pure electric sports car that's been designed from the ground up as an EV: looks stunning, is very advanced - yet technology shared with the Nissan LEAF means it's also relatively viable - we hope!
Nissan already sells the world's first mainstream family electric car. Now, it's previewing the world's first pure electric sports car. The ESFLOW takes all of Nissan's Z-Car heritage and brings it bang up to date.
A low, rakish two-seater, the 'liquid mercury' lines of the ESFLOW are wow enough: long bonnet, wraparound windscreen and stubby coupe tail are both retro and contemporary - another sports car triumph for the firm's designers.
The long nose has stand-out wheelarches that hint at the equally dramatic Nissan Juke. At the rear, the tail is inspired by the Z-car range, including the latest 370Z, and looks all the better because of it.
But it's underneath where the intrigue lies. The rear-drive chassis is powered by two electric motors, one for each wheel, mounted on the back axle. Lithium ion batteries are mounted low in the chassis and set centrally for optimum centre of gravity.
Nissan's claiming 0-60mph in under 5 seconds, yet a range of over 175 miles. All this 'addresses the misconception that being ecological has to mean being austere'. No mistake: it's a real sports car alright - just one using electricity, not petrol.
What's more, much of the technology, such as those electric motors, is derived from the production Nissan LEAF. Meaning the jump to production wouldn't necessarily be that huge? Nissan wouldn't be drawn: but if it can make the amazing GT-R, surely it can make this?
Despite telling us it shares plenty of tech with the Nissan LEAF, the firm wouldn't tell us if and when a production version will arrive. Frustrating, as the performance, range and styling leaves us convinced it would be a hit.
How much and when?
MSN Cars verdict
Nissan has amazed with the ESFLOW concept, a tantalising glimpse of what we hope is near-reality. It takes something to usurp the GT-R: the ESFLOW managed it.
Which of these endangered 1970s and 80s cars would you be saddest to see become extinct?
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- Austin Allegro
- Austin Maxi
- Austin Montego
- Austin Princess
- Hillman Avenger
- Morris Marina
- Morris Ital
- Vauxhall Viva