Infiniti EV to debut in New York

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Nissan Leaf

Inifiniti is debuting its electric vehicle, which shares some technology with the Nissan Leaf, at the New York Auto Show. Photo Credit: Masahiko OHBUKO/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY

Nissan is already a leader in the electric car field with the Leaf, the first fully electric vehicle from a major automaker. Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, is working on its own electric sedan, which is going to debut at the New York Auto Show.

Details are sketchy

It has been known for some time that Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, has been working on its own in-house EV as a luxury counterpart to the Leaf. Not much is known about the car yet, and there haven’t been any photos of the car in testing, just a test mule that is little more than a dressed-up Leaf, according to Car and Driver. Aside from that, there have only been sketches. The first time the car will appear in public, according to AutoBlog, is going to be at the 2012 New York Auto Show in April.

Leaner and meaner

What is known about the car is that it will have more aggressive styling than the Leaf. According to CNET, Infiniti has stated the upcoming car will be a “stylish, compact, high performance, five-seat luxury car.” Sketches that have been released by Infiniti show a sleek, bullet-like shape akin to the Emerg-E concept that Infiniti displayed at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

[With the quality of most cars improving, whether to buy a new or used car is a toss-up.]

According to AutoBlog, the car is meant as a “luxury vehicle first and electric vehicle second.” The battery pack and electric motor are likely to be more powerful, though the range is likely to be comparable to the Leaf. It isn’t known how much it will cost, but Car and Driver believes it will be more than $40,000 before the $7,500 federal tax credit.

The party piece, according to Popular Mechanics, is said to be an inductive charging system. Inductive charging means an electromagnetic field is used instead of a direct connection to transfer electricity between a source and a device, just like charging pads for cell phones. There isn’t an inductive charging system present in cities, but owners could charge their cars wirelessly with an inductive home charging system.

Emerging models

Production for the Infiniti EV isn’t scheduled until 2014, so the car that is shown in New York is likely to be the pre-production concept, which will undergo further refinement until a production model is ready.

Infiniti’s other high-profile concept car, the Emerg-E, isn’t slated for production aside from two working prototypes, according to Inside Line. The plug-in hybrid sports car looks attractive, though.

The car uses two 200 horsepower electric motors to drive the rear wheels, in conjunction with a mid-mounted 47 horsepower 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine from Lotus. The car is capable of 0 to 60 miles per hour in four seconds, though is limited to a top speed of 130 miles per hour to conserve electricity. The car was engineered in conjunction with Lotus and is partially based on the next-generation Evora.


Car and Driver



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