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Not Quite Z, Nissan ESFLOW

Posted: February 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: ecodriver, electric | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Not Quite Z, Nissan ESFLOW

Nissan has just released details of a new rear-drive all-electric sports car concept. Called the Nissan ESFLOW, the car is powered by two electric motors and is detailed in plenty of ‘blue carbon’ and blue LEDs.
It looks like a sports car, handles like a sports car and performs like one too. But ESFLOW is different to most other sports cars – it’s electric, literally. Using technology pioneered in the award-winning Nissan LEAF, the EV concept shows that driving can still be as much fun tomorrow as it is today.
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• ESFLOW – a pure EV sports car concept
• Rear-wheel drive two-seater
• Two electric motors, each driving a rear wheel
• Laminated lithium-ion batteries mounted low for best weight distribution
• Dramatic styling with wraparound windscreen for unobstructed visibility
• 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds
• Over 240kms on one charge
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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.
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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
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Nissan is being very clear about the car’s status, saying that it is not an internal combustion engine aided by electric power; it is a project that has been developed from the ground up as a zero tailpipe emission car. It looks like a sports car, handles like a sports car and performs like one too.
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At a glance• ESFLOW – a pure EV sports car concept – Rear-wheel drive, two-seater. Two electric motors, each driving a rear wheel. Laminated lithium-ion batteries mounted low for best weight distribution. Dramatic styling with wraparound windscreen for unobstructed visibility•
0-100km/h in under 5 seconds• Over 240kms on one charge.
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The Nissan ESFLOWNissan 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.
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ESFLOW has been created from the ground up as a pure electric vehicle, to given 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.
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Owning a green machine car doesn’t have to come at the expense of driving  enjoyment. At a glance, the ESFLOW tells 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 round six spoke wheels. ESFLOW is unmistakably sports car, those in the know will recognize its heritage – hints of classic Nissan Z car all-round.
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Vitally, 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. Nissan’s forward thinking designers have had free rein to place the power train in the optimum positions to benefit handling and performance, enhancing the sports car feel.
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The 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.
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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 midship position,. These motors independently control the left and right wheels, and so the torque is optimized 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 a 100kph in under 5 seconds.
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Power for the motors comes from the same laminated lithium-ion battery packs used  in the Nissan LEAF, but in ESFLOW the packs are located along the axis of the front and rear wheels. This centralizes 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.
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The aluminium chassis has been built around the drive train, taking full advantage of the opportunities that Zero Emission electric propulsion provides. Power cells are incorporated in such a way that they benefit ESFLOW’s strength and poise, not detract from them. Indeed, unlike a conventional fuel tank, batteries do not get lighter as they provide energy, so the car’s weight distribution remains constant throughout a drive.
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The high waistline afforded by the ESFLOW’s classic sports car proportions allows strong, yet unobtrusive roll bars incorporated in to the structure behind the seats to safely take the entire load of the car in the event of a roll over, negating the need for obtrusive, thick, reinforced A-pillars and the blind spots they inevitably create. This almost unobstructed view ahead will not be unfamiliar to fighter pilots, and just as such pilots speak of “strapping their planes on to their backs”, we hope ESFLOW owners will also feel the car to be an extension of their bodies, reacting to their slightest whims. The driver must be at the centre of the sports car both physically and metaphorically.
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Although specific power outputs are yet to be mentioned, the car uses two motors that supply power to each rear wheel. Nissan has said the concept is sporty enough to crack the five second barrier when accelerating from 0-100km/h. The Nissan ESFLOW is also apparently able to achieve an range of 240km on a single charge.
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The ESFLOW is undoubtedly an attractive car. Crisp, clean lines not only convey the purity of its sporting potential, but suggest the clarity of electric power. The colour scheme chosen for the concept car is inspired by glaciers – highly reflective solidified liquid with blue tints in its shadows. Like its ZEV concept forebears and contemporary stable mate the ESFLOW’s headlights and Nissan emblem are tinted cool blue. The six spoke wheels contain blue carbon inserts while the same material adorns the side sill, roof mounted lip spoiler and lower rear bumper.
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Blue LEDs accentuate the futuristic lights slashed into the bodywork both front and rear. Where the Nissan LEAF’s protrusive headlights are used to guide airflow around  the door mirrors, this is not needed on ESFLOW as the mirrors have been replaced with minute rear view cameras at the base of its A-pillars. The ESFLOW’s front lights do protect a secret of their own however: flip out charging points built in to the air ducts beneath.
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Greeniness minimalism need not come at the expense of luxury. The cabin of theESFLOW 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 motorized seats.
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In 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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