Infiniti is mulling a sporty four-door coupe flagship derived from the Porsche Panamera, according to Andy Palmer, Nissan's executive vice president responsible for global future products. The coupe will bear a fastback roofline that styling could take a cue from the Infiniti Essence concept created by Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura.
The sporty four-door coupe flagship is not expected before 2017 and is part of Infiniti's grand plan to transform into a major global luxury brand by the end of the decade. Infiniti is planning to avoid a head-on collision with more established European luxury carmakers by focusing on a mix of sporty-focused sedan, coupe and crossover models -- each powered by hybrid powertrains.
Palmer said that Infiniti “won't do a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or that type of car," since they have had that before. He remarked that Infiniti wants an appealing and different flagship car.
According to sources, Nakamura's design team is working on the dimensions and details of the Essence concept, extending its proportions and roofline to pave way for a roomier rear cabin and an extra pair of doors. The car could be underpinned by Mercedes-Benz’s modular rear-wheel-drive architecture. Infiniti may later offer a mid-engine, hybrid-powered two-seater inspired by the Emerg-E concept it unveiled at the Goodwood Festival in 2011.
The production Emerg-E is envisioned as a supercar that boasts of a luxury cabin. It would resemble more a Jaguar or Aston Martin than a Ferrari. According to Pamer, although the halo car is in the plan, it is yet to be signed off. He said that before he goes to their approval committee for the halo car, “sales of sedans like the Q50 and SUVs like the QX60 will have to be going well.”