Infiniti has unveiled the Emerg-E sports vehicle concept at the Geneva Motor Show. This coupe will have a pair of 201-hp Evo Electric motors that drive the rear wheels and direct power to a single-speed XTRAC transmission. There are four inverters that control the motors as well as the energy regeneration under braking.
This vehicle uses a lithium-ion battery that is charged by a 1.2-liter engine when its juice runs out. The battery can power the vehicle to a range of 30 miles without using gasoline, according to Infiniti. The company has acquired the services of Lotus in developing the range extender, which generates 35 kilowatts of power at a peak of 3,500 rpm.
Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura leads the development of the Emerg-E project, which was partly financed by the U.K. government's Technology Strategy Board. The goal of the Strategy Board is to accelerate the utilization of low-carbon automobiles onto the country's roads. The board gave the company a chance to work with many innovative OEMs and suppliers. This was how the company discovered that Lotus was developing a range extender and then decided to collaborate.
The Emerg-E comes in a lightweight, extruded-aluminum chassis matched with carbon-fiber body panels, contributing to a curb weight of 3,523 pounds. The vehicle was created with racing specialists Lola Composites in the U.K. According to Infiniti, it will study the use of the ultra-lightweight material in future automobiles.
The drag of the coupe was lowered to 0.34 Cd with the flowing bodywork. Infiniti added various subtle air intakes and extractors to correct the cooling problem in EV mode when downforce was taken care of. The Emerg-E is the company's third vehicle from its trilogy of concept rides, after the Etherea and the Essence.
The company disclosed that the three concepts exemplify three themes from which it designs vehicles. These themes are energetic force, dignified intelligence and seductive aura. The company never intended the Emerg-E to become a mid-engine vehicle. However, it enjoyed the challenge when it came to package constraints and the distribution of weight.
The design development for the Infiniti Emerg-E is primarily directed by Nissan Design Europe (NDE) in Paddington, London, with Nissan's European Technical Centre (NTCE) in Cranfield taking care of the assembly. Nonetheless, several important inputs were received from some of Nissan Global’s design bases around the world.
Infiniti’s Emerg-E project is partly funded by Technology Strategy Board (TSB) of the United Kingdom Government. While this means that Infiniti would have enough juice to finance the creation of the concept, it also lends the project an international flavor.
Infiniti considers the Emerg-E as an important and significant sports car concept since it is a milestone for the carmaker in many aspects. For instance, the Emerg-E is Infiniti’s first mid-ship sports car and marks an evolution of the premium carmaker’s design direction. In addition, the Emerg-E sports car concept furthers Infiniti’s expertise in the areas of electric vehicles as well as alternative propulsion systems. Moreover, the new Emerg-E could provoke discussions on whether this concept would play a big role in the design of a new Infiniti flagship.
Infiniti’s yearning to expand its expertise in EV technology has allowed the premium carmaker to consider a range-extender EV and commence its development in Japan. Infiniti, however, was able to find a great venue to pursue the project, thanks to Innovate UK, the operating name of the UK’s Technology Strategy Board.
Through Innovate UK – which aims to accelerate sustainable economic growth in the country (including introduction of low-carbon vehicles) by providing funds and support to businesses – Infiniti is able gain access to new technologies and collaborate with various universities, suppliers and OEMs.
Incidentally, Lotus Engineering is also cooperating with Innovate UK in the development of a range-extender electric sports car. This led Lotus and Infiniti to collaborate on the project, a decision made easier by the fact that Nissan and Lotus were once partners for around a decade.