It's Electric: Infiniti Planning Halo Hybrid Sports Car, Due Out By 2016
Like Acura and the second-coming of the NSX, fellow Japanese automaker Infiniti has plans to roll out a flagship sports car that will rely on a hybrid powertrain. This unnamed sports car is expected to feature technology previously seen in the Emerg-e and Essence concepts. Infiniti hasn't confirmed anything yet, but we're expecting some form of range extending or plug-in hybrid technology. Infiniti has said though that it plans to grab the attention of those in their late 20s who have only one child and are conscience of their environmental impact. Infiniti boss Andy Palmer says the brand expects most of the new sports car's customer base to hail from Asia too. "These customers are widely referred to as 'little emperors'--people who are used to getting what they want," said Palmer to Autocar. Palmer expects this new halo vehicle to be similar to the Tesla Roadster, but with more range. The Emerg-e is a two-seater powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine and two electric motors. This combo is good for 402 horsepower. If the 1.2-liter and two electric motor powertrain doesn't make the cut, Infiniti's latest sports car could also feature a 3.7-liter V-6 paired to an electric motor. This combination squeezes 592 horsepower and would be more fitting if this new vehicle was to be categorized as a true halo car. Speaking of true super cars, Palmer ruled out the possibility of Infiniti taking the powertrain used in the Nissan GT-R, telling Autocar it's "not suitable for Infiniti." "There are all sorts of issues, especially around [noise, vibration and harshness]," Palmer told Autocar. "Our target customers are not people who compromise, so we need to ensure we deliver the best of everything." A flagship sports car would help spur Infiniti's global sales as the automaker seeks to achieve 500,000 units sold annually by 2020. That's more than double what it sells now, with 200,000 units moved across the globe annually. This new vehicle would also help raise brand awareness, especially in emerging markets; something Infiniti is pressing to do. Source: Autocar
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