Nissan plans electric sports car and crossover

Senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura confirms expansion plans beyond Nissan Leaf within five years

Nissan ESFLOW electric sports car front

Nissan’s electric car range could expand to include a new crossover and sports car within the next five years, Auto Express can exclusively reveal.

Senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura has told us that a new modular platform currently under development will be able to adopt conventional and alternative powertrains – and that this will be key to Nissan’s plan to broaden its EV line-up.

Nissan ESFLOW electric sports car rear

“We don’t want to limit our EVs just to the Leaf,” Nakamura told Auto Express. “We’re the leading EV manufacturer, but I don’t think we can make it just off one EV, so we want to grow the portfolio – that’s our next plan. It could be a crossover, it could be a sports car; we see much more opportunity for EVs than just a hatchback.” 

New Nissan Micra spied: grown-up design planned

Nissan’s interest in introducing an all-electric sports car extends back to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, when the maker revealed the Esflow concept. The rear-wheel-drive electric car produced a modest 107bhp, but could get from 0-62mph in five seconds. 

While little has come of the Esflow since its debut, Nakamura insists that the idea of an all-electric sports car hasn’t been shelved. An alternatively fuelled crossover, though, appears to be at the forefront of Nissan’s future product plans – as previewed by the hybrid Gripz concept at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

New 2017 Nissan GT-R: full details

There are ongoing discussions within Nissan regarding the design and layout of the new modular platform that’ll underpin the new models. The Leaf’s batteries are currently housed under the floor, which is good for weight distribution but raises the floor level – not something you want in an electric sports car, according to Nakamura. “For a crossover, we don’t care about floor height because the model already has a high ground clearance, [but] a sports car you have to make as low as possible,” he said.

Nissan Esflow

Engineers have been experimenting with placing the batteries under the rear seats and even running them down the transmission tunnel to minimise the amount by which the floor would need to be raised. Nakamura said the research is “part of the study we’re doing”.

• Nissan cans GT 86 rival

Nissan also sees the modular platform’s development as a way of helping reduce the cost of EV tech, rather than creating several bespoke architectures for the various powertrain options the company offers.

Nakamura explained that it would be “maybe five years” before we’re likely to see the first production model spun from the new platform. Nissan is likelyto preview any production vehicle with a concept car ahead of that, however.

What do you think of Nissan's future plans? Let us know in the comments below!

Recommended

Renault and Nissan suffer heavy losses in 2020
Renault

Renault and Nissan suffer heavy losses in 2020

Renault posted a loss of almost £6.6 billion for the first half of 2020 – and Nissan’s finances took a £1.12 billion hit
30 Jul 2020
New Nissan logo revealed alongside Ariya electric SUV
Nissan

New Nissan logo revealed alongside Ariya electric SUV

Just like Volkswagen, Nissan has revealed a new logo to kickstart its EV revolution
15 Jul 2020
New Nissan Ariya electric SUV unveiled ahead of 2021 launch
Nissan Ariya

New Nissan Ariya electric SUV unveiled ahead of 2021 launch

The Nissan Ariya, a rival for the Tesla Model Y, has arrived with a maximum range of 310 miles and pricing from around £37,500
15 Jul 2020
Nissan Sunderland: Factory's future dependent on Brexit deal
Nissan Ariya concept
Nissan

Nissan Sunderland: Factory's future dependent on Brexit deal

Nissan's vast Sunderland plant survived global cost-cutting measures from Japanese maker, but its future is still in the balance
3 Jun 2020

Most Popular

New Suzuki Swace estate launched on UK market
News

New Suzuki Swace estate launched on UK market

Based on the Toyota Corolla Touring Sports, the Suzuki Swace estate comes to the UK
11 Nov 2020
All-new Renault Kangoo van unveiled ahead of 2021 launch
Renault Kangoo ZE Concept - show pic
Renault Kangoo

All-new Renault Kangoo van unveiled ahead of 2021 launch

First images of the third-generation Renault Kangoo panel van - which will soon square-up to the new Volkswagen Caddy
12 Nov 2020
New Citroen C3 2020 review
Citroen C3

New Citroen C3 2020 review

The Citroen C3 supermini has been updated for 2020, but have the updates boosted its appeal?
12 Nov 2020