2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: Nissan ESFLOW Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 9, 2011

Although the Geneva Motor Show will open its doors in March, Nissan decided to unveil its new ESFLOW electric sports car concept and gives us a preview of its upcoming vehicle. According to the manufacturer, the ESFLOW is rear-wheel drive and it runs on two motors, capable to push the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5 seconds.

The ESFLOW Concept uses the same laminated lithium-ion battery packs used in the Nissan LEAF, but in ESFLOW the battery packs are located along the axis of the front and rear wheels. Regarding the total range, the ESFLOW can travel on a single charge for up to 240 km.

As you can see from the photos, the car has crisp and clean lines which suggest the clarity of electric power. The blue LEDs accentuate the futuristic lights of the concept. The interior is described by minimalism and features sculpted seats into the rear bulkhead of the car.

The seats are upholstered in gold leather and perforated gold suede while the doors are trimmed in dark blue leather and suede.

Nissan ESFLOW Concept is a vehicle that while mainly founded on existing technology, manages to execute it with an innovative approach. The composite body for example is definitely attractive and is a head turner, but since it also covers a chassis made of aluminum, it acts as a roll cage.

Using the same technologies equipped in the Nissan LEAF, the powertrain unit of the ESFLOW Concept has been tuned to offer a sporty driving experience. The ESFLOW Concept is a vehicle that runs on two motors and is a rear-wheel drive. Its elegant proportions enable the twin electric motors to be put at the top of the axis located on the rear wheels, placing it in a mid-ship position.

Since the motors are able to independently control the left and the right wheels, the torque experienced by the vehicle is optimized and thereby ensures stability and control and even results in efficient power regeneration.

The motors in fact create sufficient torque for the vehicle to reach 100 kph in less than 5 seconds. Like the Nissan LEAF, the motors in the ESFLOW Concept are powered with the same laminated lithium-ion battery packs. The difference is that the battery packs in the ESFLOW Concept have been placed on the axis of the vehicle’s front and rear wheels.

This placement allows for the centralization of the mass of the car and that of its rotation point which is near the driver’s hip. The batteries allow the ESFLOW Concept to go even as far as 240 km on merely one charge. While the Zero Emission electric propulsion already has a number of benefits, the aluminum chassis that covers the drive train manages to take full advantage of this.

Its power cells have been integrated in a manner that it advances the poise and strength of the ESFLOW rather than lessening them. For vehicles that use the traditional fuel tank, there is the issue of weight distribution as the tank becomes lighter over time.

These do not happen with the batteries. Since they do not become lighter as they continue to release energy, the weight distribution of the vehicles continues to be constant all through the drive. While it already has the proportions of a classic sports car, the high waistline enables the ESFLOW to have strong but inconspicuous roll bars integrated to the structure that are just behind the seats.

What this does is that it takes the car’s whole load in case a roll over occurs, eliminating the need to have the reinforced A-pillar and the blind spots they in turn create. This nearly unhindered view of the road is something that many fighter pilots are familiar with like when they mention "strapping their planes on to their backs.”

With this, the company hopes that those who get the chance to drive and ESFLOW will get the feeling that the vehicle appears to be an extension of their very own bodies, a vehicle that manages to react at even the slightest of whims.

The driver is therefore at the center of this car in the physical and metaphorical sense. Without a doubt, the ESFLOW Concept is an attractive car, especially with the clean lines that not only express the purity of the vehicle’s sporting potential but that also enhance the clarity of its electric power.

In choosing the color scheme for the ESFLOW, the design team used glaciers as an inspiration which resulted in a reflective solidified liquid that had blue tints. Like the ZEV concept, the headlights of the ESFLOW and its Nissan emblem come in tinted blue.

The six spoke wheels of the ESFLOW have blue carbon inserts and these very same materials are also in the side sill, lower rear bumper, and roof mounted lip spoiler.

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