Nissan Wants More EVs, Might Produce an Electric Sports Car

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Is there a Nissan competitor to the BMW i8 in the works? A senior executive has hinted there might be.

Speaking to Auto Express, senior vice-president Shiro Nakamura said an electric sports car is one option the automaker is considering for its upcoming modular vehicle platform.

The key, said Nakamura, is the placement of the batteries, as placing them under the floor (like in the Nissan Leaf) would raise the ride height too much — something they wouldn’t be worried about if it were a utility-minded model.

Nissan engineers are currently mulling ways of integrating a battery pack into the new architecture.

As one of the first automakers to bring a fully-electric vehicle to market, Nissan wants to branch out and become a bigger player in the EV game. That means joining other automakers in planning a line of electric models, rather than a one-off.

“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,” Nakamura told Auto Express. “It could be a crossover, it could be a sports car; we see much more opportunity for EVs than just a hatchback.”

Nissan’s past concept cars could hint at its future offerings. In 2011 it unveiled the Esflow electric sports car concept, and last year showed off the Gripz — a hybrid sport crossover — at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Whatever form it takes, Nakamura figures a non-Leaf Nissan EV won’t be available for another five years.

Nissan embarked on the modular platform trend via a joint venture with its strategic partner Renault in 2013. The next generation of the platform is being designed to accommodate a range of propulsion sources, a cost-saving measure being adopted by other automakers, among them Subaru.

[Image: Nissan Motor Company]

Steph Willems
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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Apr 08, 2016

    Nissan is clueless. They went from #1 to #3, and will soon be around #6 in the market. More Model Xs were shipped in March than Leafs. It's becoming apparent that Mr Musk is right about the value of a direct sales and support model - my dealer experience with my former Leaf was pretty bad. They would have preferred I bought any other car, and they clearly didn't understand how to deal with mine.

    • See 2 previous
    • Shaker Shaker on Apr 09, 2016

      " dealer experience with my former Leaf was pretty bad..." SCE: did you have any major problems with your Leaf that required dealing with the Service Dept.?

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Apr 09, 2016

    How... wait. What? Batteries would raise the ride height? How do they explain the BMW i8, Fisker Karma, Tesla Model S and the slew of converted PHEVs like the A3 and Prius that are just fine? I feel like they are building a collection of excuses to ditch the Z and replace it with a CUV. I think they have other options, personally. The Maxima and Z are knocking on heavens door. They should combine the two and make a performance hybrid. If they can make a sporty AWD 4 door with a high performance hybrid drivetrain.... kind of like a cross between an A7 and a Model S... I think they will have something interesting.

  • Big Al from Oz Musk and Trump are of the same ilk, except Musk's IQ is a damn site higher than Trumps. Musk like Trump is only into himself. Musk doesn't care about Trump only Musk. Musk sees more dollars if Trump wins.Hey, I'm Big Al again!3
  • Rover Sig We have a car with two fake exhausts in the bumper, but a large shiny muffler visible hanging down on one side, not aligned with the fake exhaust exits. Horrendous. I had to paint the shiny muffler with high-temp black paint to make it less visible. Exhaust pipes were meant to be round and hang below the bumper, and they can be made quiet or loud as the engineers like. But fake exhausts rank down there with fake intake vents on the side of that old Buick.
  • EBFlex Of course it does. What a silly question
  • Buickman Elon is a phony.
  • The Oracle When elected, Trump will carve out massive loopholes for Elon and other donors.