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Nissan confirms sub-370Z sports car for Tokyo

Go with the flow: two year old concept could surface as the next Silvia.

Electric/hybrid Nissan sportscar will be unveiled at Tokyo motor show in November

3 Apr 2013

NISSAN has finally confirmed its intentions to revive a Silvia/200SX-style sports car in time for November’s Tokyo motor show.

Previewed more than two years ago as the Esflow Concept, the vehicle in question will preview the company’s latest electrification technology, wrapped up in a swoopy sports car body.

While Nissan says the finished product intends to slip beneath the current 370Z in terms of size and price, it is unknown whether the upcoming show vehicle will be yet another concept flight of fancy, or the first showing of a finished production model.

Whatever the case, an electric Le Mans racing car will follow the Tokyo exercise in June next year in an attempt to underline how serious Nissan is about its commitment to electrification as well as performance.

A GT-R version with petrol-electric hybridisation is also expected soon after.

Speaking to the Australian media at the New York International Auto Show late last month, Nissan’s executive vice-president, Andy Palmer, revealed his company’s plans to spread its sports car offerings beyond the 370Z and GT-R.

“When we say that we are going to go to Le Mans, which we will in 2014 with an electric sports car, it implies an interest in electrification of a sports car,” he said.

“And we’ve implied that there will be electrification of the GT-R sometime in the near future.

“But we’ve got some other plans for what we think sports cars for Gen Xs and Gen Ys would look like, and I think that the Zed (370Z) will sit apart as a classic sports car.

“But we think that there is room below that for something very special. And for that we will see you at Tokyo.” When queried on the sub-Zed sports car’s powertrain specifics, Mr Palmer said electrification and performance made excellent bedfellows.

“I think there is room for both (petrol-electric hybrid and pure electric),” he said.

“The beauty of pure electric is that there is oodles of torque and power instantaneously.

“So for a car that is really fun to drive, electric presents with us an opportunity.” The 2011 Esflow concept was a zero-emissions two-seater sports car with each rear wheel driven by an electric motor.

Employing a lithium-ion battery pack mounted below a lightweight composite body, itself within an aluminium sub-structure for optimum weight distribution, it would charge to 100km/h from standstill in less than five seconds, while in economy mode could achieve more than 240km between top-ups.

The production version of the sub-Zed sports car is unlikely to feature much of the advancements of the Geneva show car, but it does point to some of the technology Nissan is investigating.

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