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Infiniti president, Johan de Nysschen, just reaffirmed that the automaker is committed to EVs.
As if that wasn’t enough to stir the press, Nissan’s global communications chief Andy Palmer informed the media of an upcoming Infiniti mid-engine electric sports car as well. The car will use many of the technologies found in the Nissan Leaf Nismo RC, which was on display at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Elements in the Leaf Nismo RC that may be applied include a full carbon fiber tub and a rear-wheel drive layout.
As far as powertrain is concerned, the concept coupe is likely to use a range extender application where although the wheels will be driven by electric motors, a hyper-compact petrol engine will be a source of energy generation (similar to the Chevrolet Volt).
Last but not least, Red Bull Racing, the Formula 1 team sponsored by Infiniti, will likely lend its experience with KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) for the concept’s development as well.
Expect to first see the Infiniti electric sports car concept at the next Geneva Auto Show. The production car is aimed for 2014, released alongside of the upcoming Infiniti electric sedan.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Infiniti has already made it clear that it will bring an electric car to market and according to recent reports, the luxury EV will be based on Nissan’s upcoming Leaf electric car. Due out around 2014, the Infiniti version will be zero-emissions, but it won’t be slow. By that time, Nissan/Infiniti plans that lithium-ion battery advancements should allow a range similar to the Leaf (roughly 100 miles), while offering improved performance. Currently, the Leaf is rated at 107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque.
Understandably, the car will get an all-new body, which should be a sexy as the rest of the luxury lineup. A premium interior is also sure to be included.
In an interview with Top Gear, Infiniti’s UK boss commented that the brand is looking to take a more mass-market approach to electric cars. “We want lots of buyers quickly, so we are making a family car. We have no intention to make a niche EV. Besides, big vehicles are too heavy for today’s batteries, which is why our car will be compact.”
In addition to electric cars, Infiniti will launch its first hybrid model in 2011. The M35 Hybrid uses the G35′s 3.5-liter V6, paired with an electric motor, lithium-ion battery pack and Infiniti’s 7-speed automatic transmission to deliver rear-drive performance, with improved fuel economy. While no engine or fuel economy numbers are available, the 3.5-liter V6 likely makes about 300-hp, while the electric motor adds 67-hp and 199 ft-lbs of torque. This shoudl deliver a marked improvement over the new M37’s 18/26 (city/highway) rating.