Nissan Unveils ESFLOW Electric Sports Car Concept, Solidly Hinting At Future Design

By · February 09, 2011

The Nissan ESFLOW electric sports car concept is a strong hint at what's to come from the company.

Both the Z series and the GT-R have established Nissan as a force in the sports car world, and with the LEAF, Nissan is already considered the leader in pure electric drivetrains. So it's only natural the company would want to mash the two seemingly disparate things together—which is exactly what they've gone and done.

Ahead of its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, Nissan has unveiled the ESFLOW electric sports car concept. Lying somewhere in between the rocket sexiness of the GT-R and the cute-catfishness of the LEAF, the ESFLOW looks almost exactly like a Nissan-branded electric sports car should—and it brings some much needed excitement to the burgeoning world of plug-ins.

As a concept, details are a bit lacking at this point, but Nissan says the ESFLOW is a two-seat sports car designed from the ground up as an electric car. Just like the LEAF, this purpose-built design means the car can take full advantage of its "electricness." According to Nissan this has allowed the designers "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 uses some of the same powertrain and battery components as the LEAF, but arranged in a way to optimize performance. For instance, although the ESLOW uses the same batteries as the LEAF, they are placed in a more balanced location and their power flows to two motors at the rear of the car which independently operate both rear wheels. Nissan says the configuration should allow for a 0-60 time of under 5 seconds with dynamic performance. Nissan also claims the ESFLOW should be able to travel about 150 miles on a charge—approximately 50% more range than the LEAF. Whether this is due to having a larger battery pack or lower weight, or both, is unknown.

For now Nissan is going out of its way to remind everyone that the ESFLOW is only a concept, but it looks more like a souped up production car than a typical concept. And given that Nissan/Infiniti have already committed to building electric sports cars, it's not that much of a stretch to imagine that the ESFLOW is providing some strong clues as to the design direction of those future vehicles. Plus, at one point in the press release Nissan says "we hope ESFLOW owners will also feel the car to be an extension of their bodies, reacting to their slightest whims. The driver must be at the centre of the sports car both physically and metaphorically." Sounds like a strong endorsement for production to me.

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