Are they stupid for trying, or is this the right track?
When you think of the list of Nissan's accomplishments, images of drifting GT-Rs and speeding R34 Skylines come to surface, but did you know Nissan is also the leading manufacturer of EVs for the US market? This probably comes as a surprise given how much of the spotlight is on Tesla. Either way, the Nissan Leaf slides down city streets without stealing much attention, but this could soon change according to Nissan vice-president Shiro Nakamura.
If all goes to plan, we may soon see an all-electric sports car come from the Japanese automaker. The extent of this news may be span even further than to a single EV that can keep up with the 370Z. This is because Nissan is experimenting with a new modular platform that could make it to future models including a sports car. Most automakers create platforms that are adaptable to cars of different types and body styles, but this magical Nissan platform would be able to accommodate different types of powertrains like gas engines and electric motors. This would be a wise move on Nissan's part because it would allow the automaker to adapt the underpinnings to many different cars and work well with future powertrain adaptations.
Nakamura told Auto Express that Nissan could use this platform to create a hatchback and a sports car to reinforce the Leaf's push towards electric powertrains. If it were to become the platform of choice for a sports car, it could receive the powertrain from the Esflow concept seen at the 2011 Geneva Motor show. The Esflow was powered by a rear-drive 107 horsepower electric motor and went from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds. Acceleration in this realm with such low amounts of horsepower could mean use of lightweight materials, although Nissan would have to be prudent about doing this if it wants to keep the car affordable. Don't expect to see a sportier Leaf for at least five years, but if it has any performance similarities to the GT-R, we'll gladly wait.