Nissan’s luxury car division, Infiniti, unveiled the LE, its all-electric luxury sedan concept at the ongoing 2012 New York Motor Show. The car maker’s first effort at a zero-emission luxury sedan, the LE concept is expected to reach Infiniti showrooms by 2014. “In a future that holds an increasing consumption of natural resources, we will advance our sustainable mobility leadership and expand out EV market penetration with new electric vehicles such as the Infiniti LE concept,” said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn. “Infiniti is well positioned to deliver, the objectives for a sustainable future, relying on our capable, hard working and motivated team members around the world. We are a challenger.”
The electric vehicle concept boasts of the company’s signature design cues with aerodynamics suited to an EV and is mated to compact lithium-ion battery technology. Smart hospitality, next-gen Infiniti connection, personal assistant and EV connected services and wireless charging system are the list of features that are expected to be in the production ready car. Overall, the LE concept is as long as the Infiniti G sedan, supporting the company’s belief that electric vehicles does not have to mean small in size. “The LE Concept’s bold exterior is defined by its underlying high performance. It is first and foremost an Infiniti, born of our philosophy of Inspired Performance. Rather than taking EV and adding an Infiniti badge, we are taking an Infiniti and removing the tailpipe,” said Infiniti Americas vice president Ben Poore.
Distinctive design cues, such as the signature double arch grille and crescent cut-pillar are mated to EV aerodynamic efficiency to create a sleek, emotional silhouette. The shoulder line that runs from the front to the rear expresses a dynamic, flowing movement. All the attention to detail has brought down the coefficient of drag to 0.25 implying a better range on the road ready car. The batteries are placed under the passenger compartment floor to provide a low centre of gravity for enhanced handling and added boot space.
While the detailed information on the production-ready vehicle is yet to be revealed, the company has ascertained that an electric vehicle may not be small in size and luxury and zero emissions can go hand-in-hand. For India, electric vehicles are still immature. However, it is just a matter of time that vehicles like the Infiniti LE concept will make to the country’s shores and evolve a new segment where luxury does not need to have a tailpipe.
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