Nissan ESFlow Electric Sportscar Concept: 10 Facts You Didn't Know

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2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

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. 

2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

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.”

2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

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. 

 

Nissan ESFLOW Concept

Nissan ESFLOW Concept

6) Weight is the Key to the ESFlow’s Range

Nissan claims the weight-saving Aluminium chassis, carbon fibre and lightweight components that make up the ESFlow gives it the ability to squeeze a massive 150 miles of range out of the Nissan Leaf’s 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack. 

Add to that some careful battery placement (the battery pack is arranged in a T-shape in the middle of the car), an almost textbook front-rear weight distribution and we’re told that the ESFlow is the epitome of a classic sportscar. Just without the roaring V8. 

7) The ESFLOW is Not the Next Tesla

While it’s tempting to make parallels between the ESFlow and the Tesla Roadster, Nissan is adamant that the ESFlow is not the next Tesla.  

Instead, it wants the ESFlow to be the mainstream electric sportscar of choice, revolutionizing the sportscar market in the same way it hopes the Leaf will revolutionize the family car market. 

Nissan ESFLOW Concept

Nissan ESFLOW Concept

8) It’s Smaller Than a Nissan 350Z

At just under 149 inches in length, 67 inches wide and 49 inches high, the ESFlow is smaller than its gasoline-powered sibling that gives it so much of its looks. It’s also lighter, although Nissan remains tight-lipped about just how much lighter only commenting “the weight is less than 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs).”

9) The Controls, Not the Seat Move for Driver Adjustment

According to Nissan’s gurus, it is much easier to provide a reliable driving experience regardless of driver size when the controls not the seat, move. 

A feature that is becoming increasingly popular in sportscars and luxury brands, the motorized controls provide the optimum driving position and the most comfortable seat. 

Nissan ESFLOW Concept

Nissan ESFLOW Concept

10) The Charge Ports Are Motorized

With any concept car there’s always at least one feature which wows the audience. For the ESFlow, it has to be the way the car gets ready to charge. 

Instead of a bulbous ‘nose’ at the front of the car which lifts up to reveal charging ports as with the Nissan Leaf, the ESFlow uses motorized charging ports. 

What do we mean? Pods under the front light cluster gracefully glide out on both sides. One contains the fast charge CHAdeMO connector, the other a standard J1772 unit. 

Nissan provided airfare, lodging, and other travel arrangements to enable High Gear Media to bring you this exclusive story.

 
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