Can electric cars and attainable sports coupes coexist? Perhaps, but Nissan believes the two can be blended into a single vehicle. Its new Esflow concept, which will debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, promises to be a small, eco-friendly sports car.
Although prior Nissan EV concepts used a driveline similar to that in the Leaf, the Esflow adopts a bespoke setup that’s designed to appease performance junkies. The rear-wheel-drive concept is powered by a pair of electric motors -- and by having each motor power a single wheel, Nissan is able to bias torque to the inside wheel in a corner, much like a torque-vectoring differential.
Power figures for the motors have not been released, but Nissan suggests the entire drivetrain is capable of rocketing the Esflow from 0-62 mph in less than five seconds. Provided you’re not constantly launching the car in this manner, a lithium-ion battery pack can reportedly deliver up to 144 miles of range on a single charge.
Unlike the Leaf, the Esflow is built on a bespoke platform, allowing engineers to position the motors and battery pack to provide optimum weight distribution. Better yet, it also permitted designers to craft an exterior that is svelte, stylish, and in keeping with Nissan’s other sports car models. The 370Z influence is obvious, particularly in the headlamp and taillamp designs, but we can’t help but notice a tinge of GT-R, especially in the A-pillars and the roofline.
We have yet to see the interior design, but Nissan claims it aimed to strip weight from the car while still retaining some semblance of luxury. A tilt/telescoping steering column, repositionable gauge cluster, and adjustable pedals accommodate different driver sizes without using adjustable seats. Nissan was then able to build the seats into the rear bulkhead, eliminating traditional heavy steel frames. Seats are wrapped in gold leather and perforated suede, while the door panels wear contrasting dark blue hides.
Nissan bills the Esflow as a concept car, but we hope some of the ideas incorporated into the car work their way into production. Until then, however, we’ll have to settle for seeing the concept in person -- expect more details and photos to emerge when the Esflow debuts in Geneva on March 3.