Meet Nissan’s 2011 Geneva motor show star, the Esflow sports car. It’s an all-electric, rear-wheel-drive coupe designed to show electric vehicles can still be fun. It’s been designed from the ground-up as an electric-powered car, too, so its powertrain and batteries are all positioned in optimum places to aid weight distribution and dynamics. The powertrain in question comes from the Nissan Leaf electric family car, whose combination of batteries and motors provides a modest 107bhp but potent 206lb ft. In the Esflow that’s sent to the rear, with an electric motor dedicated to each rear wheel. With the torque instantly available, 0-62mph takes less than five seconds. The chassis is aluminium, ensuring the car boasts a light kerb weight, and is built around the drivetrain. The batteries are distributed to aid the car’s structure, located along the front and rear axles and because (unlike a conventional fuel tank, which empties) their weight never changes, the Esflow’s weight-distribution remains constant. Strong roll bars are incorporated into the car’s structure, negating the need for regular A-pillars to the benefit of visibility and a clean design. The Esflow is a striking looking thing, essentially a futuristic evolution of the Nissan 370Z sports car, though with much tauter proportions. There’s plenty of concept car fantasy stuff, too: the obligatory swapping of side mirrors for rear-view cameras among the flourishes.
And while the interior boasts a similar look – the gold leather and suede upholstery is unlikely to make production – the seats are built into the rear bulkhead, rather than being individual items, with the steering wheel and pedals adjusted to suit different sized drivers. It’s a touch seen in current sports cars, KTM X-Bow included, and is another weight-saving and weight-distribution inspired measure. The Nissan Esflow will get its public debut at the 2011 Geneva motor show, and there’ll be live show floor reports on evo.co.uk from Tuesday March 1.