Nissan's all-electric sportscar 10 | 02 | 2011

    WHO SAID electric cars had to be dull? Nissan has lifted the wraps on this new electric sports-car concept — codenamed Esflow — which will take pride of place on its stand at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. The car features a bespoke rear-drive platform and electric components from the Leaf and rumours have it it could inspire a future production model.

    With a similar profile to the 370Z, the two-seater's futuristic looks mix 370Z and Leaf design cues. Externally there's a wraparound windscreen and six-spoke alloys with blue carbon inserts; the same ‘cool blue’ colour is used to tint the front lights and LED daytime-running lights and the trim on the side sills, rear bumper and rear lip spoiler. The mirrors are replaced with rear-view cameras mounted at the base of the A-pillars.

    Inside the cabin of the Esflow, major steps have been taken to ensure as much weight as possible has been saved. The car's gold-leather upholstered rear seats are mounted to the rear bulkhead, while the steering wheel and pedals are electrically adjustable. Dark blue leather and suede are used to trim the doors, while the dashboard features four LCD displays trimmed with silver carbon.

    But, of course, when it comes to electric cars, what most people are interested in is the powertrain, economy and range; and here — at least on paper — the Esflow, with its specially-created aluminium chassis, doesn't disappoint either.

    Its pair of electric motors drive the rear axle – each independently controlling a wheel for optimised torque distribution and stability — which makes for a 0-62mph time of under five seconds. The range from its lithium-ion battery pack borrowed from the Leaf is just shy of 150 miles.

    Weight distribution has been optimised by mounting the battery pack on the axis of the front and rear wheels: unlike a conventional fuel tank, batteries do not get lighter as they provide energy, so the car’s weight distribution remains constant throughout a drive.

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    Jim McGill

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