You heard the announcement, saw the artists’ sketches, speculated on its specifications and followed our live tweets from its pre-2011 Geneva Auto Show sneak-peek press day - but after a day in its presence here are 10 things we’d like to share with you about Nissan’s ultra-sexy two-seat all-electric concept.
1) The Concept is a Real, Working Car, Not a Mockup
Unlike some concepts you see at auto shows, the ESFlow is a real car. We didn’t see it move, but sources within the company say it can be driven and that all of the controls work. As usual, we didn’t get to drive it on this occasion, but from our time with the car we believe Nissan. Indeed, we heard several whirs and clicks from the car during the day when we were near it as internal fans switched on and off inside the car.
2) ESFlow Only Be a Prototype, But Nissan Serious About Electric Sportscars
Talking to Fançois Bancon, General Manager of Nissan’s Exploratory and Advanced Product Department, it is clear that Nissan’s approach to the ESFlow concept is borne out of practicality and realism.
“One of the things we need the ESFlow to be is credible”, he explained. “We could of course have gone with a much more elaborate concept, but the most important thing to us is that we want an absolute credibility with the execution. First. Credible. Real.”
Bancon wouldn’t be drawn on production plans for the ESFlow, but made it clear that Nissan viewed its sportscar heritage as being essential to the company identity. We think an all-electric production version of the ESFlow would be the next logical step.
3) Development On The ESFlow started Six Years Ago
Nissan has been actively researching electric vehicles for many decades. We’ve known about the 2011 Leaf for some time now, but the ESFlow and other electric vehicles are already being developed within Nissan.
In fact, Nissan started considering an all-electric sportscar six years ago as the company underwent a shared change of direction towards more fuel efficient technologies. The ESFlow is the result.
4) If Made, The ESFlow Would Be Priced Between $34,000 and $40,000
Don’t get excited. Nissan has no firm plans to make the ESFlow. But after some cajoling Bancon told us that should the ESFlow or a similar sportscar make it to market it would have to retain for between $34,000 and $40,000.
“This is not a rich person’s car, or a hippy car, or a car for some tiny niche in southern California...This is what Nissan is about. We make the car and we make it affordable. €25-30,000 ($34-40,000) should be the maximum.”
5) The ESFlow is Built With Existing Leaf Technology
Although the Nissan ESFlow has been built from the ground up as a brand new vehicle, the car shares its electric transmission with the 2011 Nissan Leaf.
Inside, the same 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack found in Nissan’s electric family hatchback provides power, while not one but two of Nissan’s Leaf electric motors provide power to the rear wheels.
We’re not sure how much of the ESFlow’s promised performance is in this concept, but rumor has it that the ESFlow certainly moves and drives under its own power. Any sign of the 0-60 in 5 seconds promised? Not so far.