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Nissan to show production-ready ESFLOW electric sports car in Geneva

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February 9, 2011

Nissan claims the ESFLOW is production-ready

Nissan claims the ESFLOW is production-ready

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With a track record including the time-honored Z series and the extraordinary GT-R supercar, Nissan’s credentials for producing affordable sports car exotica is without equal – which makes the company’s latest showing even more exciting. Nissan will use the Geneva Motor Show to debut an electric sports car based closely on technology pioneered in the production Nissan LEAF. The ESFLOW is a two-seater with its two electric motors each driving a rear wheel. It will hit 100km/h in under five seconds and run 240kms between powerpoints.

ESFLOW has been created by Nissan from scratch. Nissan's designers have been able to place the power train and batteries in the optimum positions to benefit the car's handling and performance. As the press materials stress, the ESFLOW is not an existing ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle that has been adapted to run on electricity, but a sports car that's been designed from the outset as a Zero Emission vehicle.

The Car has a composite body and an aluminium chassis, incorporating its own roll cage. The aluminium chassis has been built around the drive train, taking full advantage of the opportunities that Zero Emission electric propulsion provides. Power cells are incorporated in such a way that they benefit ESFLOW's strength and poise, not detract from them. Indeed, 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.

Power for the motors comes from the same laminated lithium-ion battery packs used in the Nissan LEAF, but in ESFLOW the packs are located along the axis of the front and rear wheels. This centralizes the mass of the car, and thus its rotation point, close to the driver's hips.

The powertrain unit employs the same technologies as the Nissan LEAF, with the twin electric motors placed above the rear wheels in a mid-ship position. The motors independently control the left and right wheels, and so the torque is optimized to ensure outstanding vehicle stability and control as well as efficient power regeneration.

The high waistline afforded by the ESFLOW's classic sports car proportions allows strong, yet unobtrusive roll bars incorporated in to the structure behind the seats to safely take the entire load of the car in the event of a roll over, negating the need for obtrusive, thick, reinforced A-pillars and the blind spots they inevitably create.

Whereas the Nissan LEAF's protrusive headlights are used to guide airflow around the door mirrors, this is not needed on ESFLOW as the mirrors have been replaced with minute rear view cameras at the base of its A-pillars. The ESFLOW's front lights do protect a secret of their own however: flip out charging points built in to the air ducts beneath.

The cabin of the ESFLOW is clean and open and weight saving has been a priority throughout its design. By far the heaviest components in modern cars' interiors are the steel framed, thickly upholstered and increasingly motorized seats. In ESFLOW the seats are sculpted into the rear bulkhead of the car, negating the need for a heavy frame. This of course means that they are immobile, but this is of no consequence as the fly-by-wire steering and pedals adjust electrically to suit each driver's preferred driving position.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
3 Comments

that is a great shape. Lets throw it straight into production.

Dan79

Wow !!! How nice, we are finally going to forget some misconceptions about EVs:) Small, ugly, slow.. for the girls.., right?

Well, we are just one step away from EV takeover: now, force the automakers to build ICE vehicles\' tail pipe emissions (at least 20% to start with and gradually augmenting all the way up to the 100%) inside to the vehicle. No need to have tax cut and all that, just do the right thing and every body will be reeaaally enthusiast to start driving EVs.

Plus the barrel hitting 100$, oh man, can\'t get worse than that for those sheiks and tzars:)

sinan

The ESFLOW is a very nice looking sports car but I would really like to hear more about the LEAF. Has the manufacturing snag been worked out?

Adrian Akau
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