The first details on the car have been revealed by an interview with Nissan/Infiniti Executive VP Andy Palmer – reported below along with the full transcript.
The new concept will have the goal of exploring new directions for the Infiniti brand, in terms of both design and technology.
From a styling perspective, the concept will show a further evolution of the brand’s design language, evolved from the Essence and Etherea concepts, and described as seductive and energizing.
From a technological standpoint, the sportscar concept will be focused on the range extender technology, which should contribute to make the EV a viable solution for production models.
Interview with Andy Palmer
What is the purpose of this new sports car concept?
Concepts are always interesting, as they allow the organization to stretch itself and this concept is no exception. As a brand, we’ve already stretched to hybrid. We’ve already announced that we’re moving towards an electric vehicle, an electric sedan that’s coming in the mid-term. So, the real question is what’s next? This sports car is basically about us thinking what’s next and, I guess, from really two or three perspectives.
The first, and really obviously, is introducing the technology of range extender. You’ve got the EV, which allows you great performance, but can you do that in a way that is interesting to people that are limited by range? And then there’s the technological challenge of being able to switch between being electric and petrol-driven, so there’s an interesting challenge there.
This concept also allows us to think about the next level of design language for the company and for Infiniti. It allows us to stretch into which direction do we think we’re going beyond cars that we’ve already shown as concept cars. For example, making the car more seductive or more energizing in the way that it’s pulled together and really defines what Infiniti will be next, next generation.
What have been the key challenges with this project?
Infiniti as an entity likes to stretch itself. One of the key challenges for us when we lay this out for the engineers and designers is what that level of stretch is and this is no exception. One of the key things that we challenged the organization to look at is this technology of range-extender. How can you have a sports car – and electric sports cars by themselves are rare beasts — and make it have a social conscience?
So, there’s the electric car, the gasoline engine [and] the two of them have to work in harmony but they still have to deliver an experience that is “Infiniti.” It still has to feel like an Infiniti. It’s something we’ve never done before with this particular powertrain combination. That’s one clear task we have to draw out of this concept.
The other is really around styling. It’s about stretching beyond the concepts we’ve already shown. We’ve shown the world Essence, we’ve shown the world Etherea, but what comes beyond that? What kind of design language will prevail for Infiniti at the next, next generation?
When will we hear more about this new sports car concept?
Well, the short answer is Geneva Motor Show and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to present the car at Geneva. But we’ll also have time between now and then to update the story and tell a little bit more about the development and, of course, at the show, you’ll be able to judge for yourself whether we’ve achieved what we want to achieve.
But I believe we’ll have a very compelling story about executing the extended-range EV on the one hand, and also what our design language is going to look like beyond Etherea, beyond Essence. So, in short, Geneva Motor Show.