Nissan has a reputation for creating some of the most exhilarating sports cars on the market. Nissan has also developed the world's first practical Zero Emission family car, the Nissan LEAF.Now Nissan has put that expertise together. It has captured the excitement of a sports car and the environmental benefits of an electric vehicle and blended them into one dramatic two-seater concept: ESFLOW.
The Nissan ESFLOW has been created from the ground up as a pure electric vehicle, to give an idea how a Zero Emission sports car of the future might look. Living ecologically has often been seen as an act of austerity - to save one's environmental conscience sacrifices must be made. ESFLOW is here to address that misconception.
Owning an ecologically sound car does not have to come at the expense of driving enjoyment. The briefest glance at the Nissan ESFLOW is enough to tell you what kind of car it is: a long bonnet leading into a steeply raked, wrap around windscreen, the compact cabin placing the occupants bang on the car's centre of gravity, hunched arches over ultra-low profile tyres wrapped around six spoke wheels. ESFLOW is unmistakably a sports car, and those in the know will recognise its heritage - hints of classic and contemporary Nissan sports cars abound.
Vitally, Nissan ESFLOW is not an existing ICE (internal combustion engine) powered 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. This means that Nissan's forward thinking designers have had free rein to place the power train and batteries in the optimum positions to benefit the car's handling and performance and enhancing the thrill of driving.
The Nissan ESFLOW is based on existing technology, implemented in innovative ways. An attractive, head turning composite body covers an aluminium chassis, incorporating its own roll cage. The powertrain unit, which employs the same technologies installed in the Nissan LEAF, is tuned to offer a sporty driving experience.
Nissan ESFLOW is rear-wheel drive and it runs on two motors. The car's graceful proportions allow the twin electric motors to be placed above the axis of the rear wheels, in a mid-ship position. These motors independently control the left and right wheels, and so the torque is optimised to ensure outstanding vehicle stability and control as well as efficient power regeneration. The motors produce enough torque in an instant for it to reach 100kph in under 5 seconds.
Power for the motors comes from the same laminated lithium-ion battery packs used in the Nissan LEAF, but in the Nissan ESFLOW the packs are located along the axis of the front and rear wheels. This centralises the mass of the car, and thus its rotation point, close to the driver's hips. These cleverly positioned batteries enable the car to travel over 240km on one charge.
Ecological minimalism need not come at the expense of luxury. The cabin of the Nissan ESFLOW is clean and open and weight saving has been a priority throughout its design, but it is still a comfortable and pleasant place to sit. By far the heaviest components in modern cars' interiors are the steel framed, thickly upholstered and increasingly motorised seats. In the Nissan 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 the best spot to suit each individual driver's size and preferred driving position.
The seats themselves are upholstered in gold leather and perforated gold suede while the doors are trimmed in dark blue leather and suede. The blue and gold motif, the colour of sparks, is continued across the dashboard, which is also adorned with silver carbon trim, and features four multifunction illuminated LCD displays.
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