Nissan's Geneva show star is an all-electric sports car based on the Leaf
1 March 2011

Nissan has unveiled this new electric sports-car concept that now stars at the Geneva motor show. Dubbed Esflow, it features a bespoke rear-drive platform and electric components from the Leaf and it could inspire a future production model.

The two-seater has a similar profile to the 370Z, and its futuristic looks mix 370Z and Leaf design cues. A pair of electric motors drive the rear axle – each independently controlling a wheel for optimised torque distribution and stability - allowing for a 0-62mph time of less than five seconds. The range from its lithium-ion battery pack borrowed from the Leaf is just shy of 150 miles.

See the official pics of the Nissan Esflow plus pics from the show

Esflow’s aluminium chassis has been created especially for the concept. Nissan says “it has been built around the drivetrain, taking full advantage of the opportunities electric propulsion provides”. This means 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,” says Nissan.

Nissan: 'Our sports car plan'

Design touches on the glacier-inspired exterior include 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.

Its “comfortable and pleasant” interior majors on weight-saving; its gold-leather upholstered rear seats are mounted to the rear bulkhead, with the steering wheel and pedals being electrically adjustable. Dark blue leather and suede are used to trim the doors, while the dashboard features four LCD displays trimmed with silver carbon.

First drive review of the Nissan Leaf

Officially, the Esflow is billed as a vision of how a “sports car of the future might look”. But a source has indicated to Autocar that Nissan will gauge public reaction to Esflow at Geneva, and its looks could be used in a future production model.

Indeed, Nissan’s chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga told Autocar last year that “the market is shifting, becoming more environmentally friendly, so maybe now there is a possibility that even a 100 per cent electric vehicle can be a sports car.”

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