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Roadshow Video Reviews
Nissan ESFLOW conceptNissan muses about what else it can do with the Leaf's batteries.
While Nissan's LEAF is on the market, by all indications selling really well, but they can't begin to sell enough of those in the near future time point to pay for the R&D on it, so what do you with all that technology? You roll it out into something else with arguably a higher profit margin. Here is the Nissan Esflow. Now, this is a concept car right now but you kinda get the idea that it could be the electric Z? Here's the architecture. They call it the "I layout." You've got two sets of lithium polymer battery packs, same batteries they developed for the LEAF. One is kind of in a horizontal bar just behind the front wheels. Another pack is up here by the rear wheels. There's also a pack that runs down the center since there's no drive shaft to take up that room. Then the motors, two of them, rear-mounted, each one driving its own rear wheel. Get some great torque vectoring when you do a layout like that. Zero to sixty, probably under 5 seconds. Range, they're talking 140, 150 miles. That's a pretty good thing. And the charging port is slick, little pop-out deal there in the front by the grill. I don't know, that's all concept car stuff. Now, saving weight is everything when you wanna get better performance and longer range, so, inside here, we've got an aluminum frame. This body is largely composite material and a lot of carbon fiber you can see around the vehicle, but check this out. They also attacked the seats for weight saving. Seats are kind of a dumb part of a car. They're big and heavy steel frames, lots of padding, leather upholstery, and they don't perform, so what they've done here is actually make the seat just part of the rear bulkhead of the car. It doesn't move. So how do you get comfortable? Everything else in the car would move. It's drive-by-wire steering, drive-by-wire pedals for everything, and all of those can be moved anywhere you want because there are no mechanical linkages. Interesting way to get your position right. Okay, I gotta read you the description of the Esflow driver in this Nissan press kit contained here in this kind of obscene looking USB drive. Daniel, an Esflow owner, works in tech, but he lives for the weekend. He's a drinker. 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. He's a horny drinker. Finding street parking. On Saturday, he drives to a popular club to exhibit his DJ skills and his friends are impressed by his cool EV sports car. No, they think he's a tool, actually. But this car is actually nothing of a tool. It's a very cool looking concept that unlike most I see at these car shows which are a whole lot of blah, blah, blah, has two important things in it--a serious electric car practice backing it up. They've proven their mettle with the LEAF, and a serious sports car franchise in the Z. I see those two coming together.