AIM EV Sport 01 eyes production run

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AIM could build Nissan GT-R designer’s lightweight electric sports car.

Ex-Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura’s latest project, the Aim EV Sport 01, could be produced in the UK, as its creators hunt for potential manufacturers to build the final limited-run production car.

The compact two-seat electric sports car, designed by Nakamura’s SN Design agency, is scheduled to be produced in limited numbers, but the specific volume and price are “not decided”.

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Speaking exclusively to Automotive Daily Netowrk partner Autocar, Nakamura revealed that he and Aim are looking to UK companies to make the car for low-volume production.

The model, which made its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to show off the AIM EV Sport 01 – a new compact two-seat electric sports car touting compelling performance and weight figures.

“We have begun talking with companies, some in the UK and some in the EU, so we are currently trying to find opportunities,” he added.

On its development, Nakamura said: “Sports cars are getting too big. What you want is to make a car tight and small and more agile.”

Nakamura says he took inspiration from “great sports cars of the past”.

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When asked how much the GT-R influenced the EV Sport 01’s design, he said: “Less than zero. I designed the GT-R and many cars, but this is my personal expression. When you work for a brand like Nissan you have to express the brand, but here there is no brand so you can make it more personal. I wanted to make it as clean as possible.”

He shunned the use of “exaggerated and complicated surfaces” to make it reminiscent of European and Japanese sports cars of the 1960s, saying his aim was to keep things “nice and simple”.

The EV Sport 01 h it is designed to be as engaging to drive as possible and touts compelling performance and weight figures.

The 1425kg EV Sport 01 sits on a bespoke aluminium and carbonfibre platform and uses two liquid-cooled, high-performance electric motors (one on each of the rear wheels) with maximum speeds of 10,000rpm.

They draw their reserves from an 81kWh battery split into four packs and deliver a combined 360kW and 715Nm of torque – figures usually the preserve of much larger and heavier machines. We suspect it will be able to achieve a sub-6.0sec 0-100km/h time.

Nakamura retired as vice-president of Nissan in 2017, having worked in the Japanese firm’s design department since 1999 and overseen the designs for the Cube, Qashqai, Leaf and GT-R, to name but a few. He now heads up the independent outfit SN Design Platform.

Developed for Nagoya-based engineering firm AIM, his new sports car concept is designed to be as engaging to drive as possible. It’s currently undergoing dynamic testing and will make its debut on the Goodwood hillclimb.

Using a blend of lightweight materials, its body panels and monocoque chassis are made from carbonfibre to keep weight down, while aluminium makes up much of the car’s frame.

Double-wishbone suspension has been fitted at the front and rear to help maximise cornering manoeuvrability. The wheels are 20in in diameter.

AIM president and CEO Yukinori Suzuki said: “The vision for the AIM EV Sport 01 was fast and enjoyable to drive. While the mainstream trend for EVs is all-wheel drive, the character of this car called for a rear-wheel drive configuration.

“Having created our own series of advanced electric motors, the AIM EV Sport 01 is also the perfect way to showcase our expertise in advanced powertrain development.”

AIM is currently looking at the potential of a limited production run for the EV Sport 01, which has supposedly been encouraged by a warm reaction from the public.

On its design, Nakamura said he took inspiration from “great sports cars of the past”, adding that its shunning of “exaggerated and complicated surfaces” is reminiscent of 1960s European and Japanese sports cars.

AIM is using the prototype as a showcase for the potential of its in-house-developed EV motors, which it aims to use in its own future models and will supply to other manufacturers.

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