Mike Stevens | Aug 3, 2011

Hopes for a small lightweight Nissan-badged sports car were thrown out early last year when the company scrapped plans to develop a successor to the popular 200SX (Silvia in Japan).

Now, new reports out of Europe suggest that Nissan is breathing new life into its small sports car programme as part of its Power 88 business plan that calls for a new model every six weeks.

According to British magazine Auto Express, Nissan is developing a higher performance version of the all-electric drivetrain powering the Leaf hatch, driving the rear wheels of a new small sports car.

Suddenly, Nissan's ESFLOW electric sports concept, revealed earlier this year, appears to have a future, and it's being touted as a rival to Mazda's iconic MX-5 roadster.

In concept form, the ESFLOW is built on an aluminium platform and wrapped in a composite shell, with its electric motor and lithium batteries mounted for a low centre of gravity.

Nissan claims the ESFLOW EV will hit 100km/h in under five seconds, with a driving range of more than 240 kilometres.

The AutoExpress report adds that versions of the new platform - borrowed from Daimler as part of its recent three-way agreement with Renault - will also underpin the next-generation GT-R and Z cars.

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