|2012 Infiniti Emerg-E Concept|
Yes, Infiniti's design language is something of an acquired taste. The FX crossover in particular looks so unusual it is guaranteed to get you noticed every day, while the M and G look interesting in their own way, but are arguably bettered by other more obvious rivals. Clearly though, as the 600-horsepower Essence Concept showed three years ago, this design language works best in the more elegant form of a supercar, and so to turn heads and boost their image a bit - which Infiniti particularly needs to do in Europe, where they're still very obscure - they have translated the Essence into a mid-engined form, which you have to say looks even better.
As for power, this isn't exactly a traditional supercar. There's no V12 or Twin-Turbo V8 under there, as it's actually an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) like a Fisker Karma or a GM Volt/Ampera (or Geoff Hammerhead-i EagleThrust, if you prefer), in that it's a completely electric car, but with an engine onboard that kicks in and provides a bit of extra poke while also charging the batteries. It never directly drives the wheels - electric motors do that - so it just hums away at a constant RPM, which is when an engine is its most efficient, and drinks a comparatively tiny amount of fuel. The only thing is, Infiniti haven't mentioned exactly what engine it is, and because it has a fancy cover, you can't tell by looking. All we can tell is that it's in the middle, which frankly anyone could've worked out when we just had patent renderings of it to look at, as that shape is so obviously mid-engined in its proportions, not to mention the central roof-mounted air scoop.
Of course, this isn't the only shiny silver hybrid supercar of recent times. I've mentioned the Honda/Acura NSX already, but then there's the Jaguar C-X75, which extended the range with gas turbines (read: two little jet engines) instead of an engine, although they admit the confirmed production version will have to be more conventional and use a small internal combustion engine like the other E-REVs. The "NSX" actually loses out in the eco-credentials department, because it's a normal, mid-engined V6 with two electric motors at the front wheels, which suggests that while Nissan and Jaguar are trying to push the boundaries of hybrid cars by reaching the next stage in the process of weening cars off engines, Honda gave it a hybrid system because it felt it had to...
Here's a picture of the side of it:
I can't think of much to say here, as it does all the same things I've already mentioned, so just admire it for a bit.
All done? It really is a nice-looking car, isn't it? Coming up now are a couple of comparisons with the Acura NSX Concept, followed by all the other images from the source. Enjoy!
|These aren't quite to scale, I should point out. Click to embiggen.|
|The NSX's clean windowline does look good, but the Emerg-E is more interesting IMO. Not to scale.|
|The cars are obviously at different angles here.|
|Both have classic mid-engined supercar proportions, but while one is fluent, one is crisp.|
Which is best? Well of course, that depends on your own tastes/preferences.
I leave you with more of the Infiniti Emerg-E Concept, all from the Carscoop article linked under the top picture:
|The roof creases become little cooling intakes. Cool!|
|Headlights with crystals and eyebrows. There's even a pupil. All Infiniti cars have "eyes"|
|The graceful side air intake.|
|Another view of the cockpit.|
|Some very fancy-looking dials.|
|The seats aren't actually that outrageous. I've seen Renault and Citroën concepts where you sit on a kind of plastic wave...|
|Finally, the drive selector and buttons - well, touch-sensitive pads - for the infotainment system.|
More details will emerg-e at the Geneva Motor Show next week. Stay Tuned!