Nissan Esflow to Appear at Geneva: An EV Sports Car for the Rest of Us?

February 25th, 2011

Nissan Esflow concept

The auto media is giving this beautiful and interesting car somewhat of a mixed response. The gist is some think it’s doubtful the Esflow will ever see production. Sports cars are not a growing market these days, but what about an EV 2-seater with Tesla Roadster performance at about a third of that price (projected to be in the $35K range)?

The Esflow could turn on ill-served sports-car fans everywhere (ill-served because most sports cars have become overpriced, too-heavy luxury pretenders). The Esflow, as we reported here, looks like the old Z-car brought up to date, and according to what we read, it was conceived in the same spirit of simplicity and light weight.

The car uses the Leaf drivetrain and trims something like 600 kg (about 1,300 pounds) off the Leaf‘s weight of 1,600 kg (about 3,500 lbs). The 47-53 front-rear weight distribution is nearly ideal. And the battery pack is placed low down, behind the seats for a low center of gravity. Two motors with a “theoretical” 150-mile range will provide 0-60 mph times of “less than 5.0 seconds.”

Nissan Esflow concept frontThe key to getting this car into production is not the technical side. From what we read, the Geneva concept is pretty much production-ready as it stands. Will it survive a business model analysis, however?

If you read Nissan’s press release, the answer is “probably not.” They conceive the market to be young, citified yuppies with money to burn, driven by entertainment rather than being entertained by driving:

Daniel, an ESFLOW owner, works in tech, but lives for the weekend. On Friday night after work, he gets behind the wheels of his ESFLOW which instantly links with his pocket PDA and determines the fastest route to his girlfriend’s home. Finding street side parking is a synch [sic] as the ESFLOW’s compact dimensions allow it to slip in to the narrowest of spaces. On Saturday he drives to a popular club to exhibit his DJ skills and his friends are impressed by his cool EV sports car.

This jerk should be driving a Juke. But there are folks out there who could find the Esflow not only cool but very exciting as an affordable sports car. Look what the Z did for Datsun’s (Nissan’s) reputation years ago.

Most car gurus would covet the Nissan Esflow, we think. Do you think Nissan will build it?

—jgoods

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  1. Travis
    February 25th, 2011 at 15:35 | #1

    Nissan is becoming known for taking chances. After all, it made the Juke and, even more surprising, the Murano CrossCabriolet. In comparison, the Esflow seems like a no-brainer.

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