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This paper focuses on performance improvements of the stator flux estimation for a direct-torque-controlled interior permanent magnet synchronous motor drive. In this paper, an adaptive sliding observer is presented to estimate the stator flux linkage based on the motor current model. The experimental results show that the proposed observer has been able to deliver more accurate estimation than an open-loop estimator both in the steady state and during transients. The observer has better dynamic behavior, disturbance resistance, and high-accuracy estimation ability. With the integrated flux observer, the drive system can operate at very low speed down to 10 r/min (0.33 Hz) with half full load.