Nissan Unveils Electric Sportscar

GENEVA (AP) — What do you get if you cross Nissan's Leaf electric compact with one of the Japanese car maker's Z-car racers?

Possibly the Esflow, an unlikely mashup the Yokohama-based constructor unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show this week.

On the outside it's all flash, with a gleaming silver aluminum body and sexy sportscar curves inspired by Nissan's long racing lineage.

Under the hood, though, Nissan has opted to go with two electric motors, indistinguishable from those it builds for its Leaf electric compact car that began selling late last year.

That means that unlike most concept cars, this driver's fantasy has an actual chance of one day being built, one of Nissan's top executives for development said in an interview with the Associated Press on Wednesday.

"We want this concept car to be a reality," said Francois Bancon, "something that we can make if we want."

Bancon said the Esflow uses all Leaf technology. "The motor, battery, all the electric systems are from the Leaf, there is nothing new and that's what makes the car very realistic in terms of execution."

To build a sports car capable of going zero to 60 in five seconds and hitting a top speed of 120 mph with a compact car's electric motor, Nissan focused on one thing: "Weight. The enemy was the gram," Bancon said. Aluminum was used for the body and carbon fiber for internal parts to help keep the weight down.

The Esflow has been under development for about two years, but no decision has been taken on whether to take it to production.

"We have to decide what Nissan is going to do in the future on zero emissions. Do we go with a spicy sportscar like the Esflow, or do we go with something more compact and affordable? It's under discussion," Bancon said.