We are expecting to see American brands like Chevrolet and Ford at the upcoming 2018 Detroit Auto Show, but Japanese automaker Infiniti plans to reveal something of their own. Reports suggest that this will be an electric performance model that is similar to the hybrid Emerg-E Concept from back in 2012.
Alfonsa Albaisa, design boss of Infiniti, said in his statement that the electric vehicle will not be a variation of the company's current models, and it also will not share the same platform with an already existing vehicle like the Nissan Leaf, according to Autocar. Just like VW and Mercedes, Infiniti will be developing its own pure electric lineup, where future EVs will ride on their own platform.
It is too early to determine whether the EV will be a pure performance model, or something more mainstream like an SUV or a sporty sedan. What we will be seeing in Detroit is an EV that will borrow some of its technology from the Prototype 9, which we have seen earlier in Pebble Beach at the Quail. Albaisa explained that it will be part of the Prototype 9 in a different context.
What we are expecting to see in Detroit is not the Japanese automaker's first attempt of an electric vehicle, as they have already jumped into this back in 2012 when the company debuted its Leaf-based LE concept. Back then, the concept had an electric motor that produced 134 horsepower (99 kilowatts) and 240 pound feet (325 Newton-metres) of torque, and a 24 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
The Emerg-E concept, on the other hand, was equipped with a 1.2 liter gas engine that worked with two electric motors. This enabled it to give out a little more with 402 horsepower (302 kilowatts) and 738 pound-feet (1,001 Nm) of torque.
The anticipated model will be seen first as a concept at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show that will take place in January, before it heads to the production line sometime in 2019. Roland Krueger, CEO of Infiniti is proud to say that the prototype is “very good”, and they will ensure that it will provide drivers a unique Infiniti driving experience.
Krueger also said in his interview with Autocar that Infiniti’s parent company, Nissan, has an expertise in electric vehicles, and that there will be plenty of engineering competencies that they can make use of when developing Infiniti models, while still maintaining their values of performance and handling - a forte of their hybrid offerings.
We think that it is a good idea for Infiniti to follow the footsteps of VW and Mercedes, by choosing to create electric-only vehicles, considering the fact that Nissan has a unique expertise in this field.