INFINITI Developing a New Dedicated Electric Vehicle Platform
April 26 2018, Trevor Hofmann
New EV tech and Design Inspired by Q Inspiration Concept
INFINITI has long been producing highly efficient and strong performing hybrid electric sport-luxury sedans, starting all the way back in 2011.
The Q50 Hybrid remains a formidable challenger in the popular D-segment thanks to a brand-wide focus that's always been as much about saving fuel as increasing straight-line acceleration, both key elements of the INFINITI brand. In fact, it was seven years ago that the original M35h hybrid set an official Guinness world record for fastest acceleration from a production hybrid. Still, while a strong effort so far, we've only seen the beginnings of INFINITI's road to electrification.
Most INFINITI Models will Feature Hybrid or EV Powertrains After 2021
Such was made clear by Nissan chief executive officer Hiroto Saikawa who, as part of his address at the Automotive News World Congress in January, told the audience that the INFINITI brand would almost entirely be comprised of electrified vehicles after 2021, and furthermore he predicted that half of the luxury division's sales would either feature a hybrid or a pure electric powertrain by 2025.
Based on calendar year 2017 sales of 153,415 units globally (which was an increase of 11 percent over 2016), this means about 75,000 new INFINITI vehicles will be rolling off of INFINITI production lines with electrified powertrains in just seven years.
Unique ePower Drivetrain to Underpin Future INFINITI Hybrid Models
According to Saikawa, INFINITI will rely on parent company Nissan's new range-extending electric motor-powered technology dubbed ePower for future hybrid powertrains, a system that applies a unique EV strategy.
First off, unlike plug-in hybrids that are gaining popularity today, the ePower system doesn't rely on a plug/socket or the power grid for energy. What's more, it doesn't use its gasoline-powered internal combustion engine (ICE) for propulsion, but rather the engine gets used to recharge the battery, which in turn powers an electric motor that drives the wheels.
Future Electrified Vehicle Platform Inspired by Q Inspiration Concept
INFINITI's future electrified vehicle platform architecture, announced in April during a special Auto China preview event at the INFINITI Brand Experience Center in Beijing, has been heavily inspired by the recent Q Inspiration concept first shown at January's Detroit show. INFINITI plans to produce an electrified vehicle on this new platform as one of five upcoming models to be built in China.
"INFINITI is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification," said INFINITI chairman and global president Roland Krueger. "We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space."
Look to the Q Inspiration Concept for Future INFINITI Styling Cues
Of note, the Q Inspiration concept is not only being touted as inspiration for future INFINITI electrified vehicles' platform architectures and powertrains, but is also said to be reflective of future INFINITI styling.
"The Q Inspiration concept car takes the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution," said Karim Habib, INFINITI executive design director. "A shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; We were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for INFINITI models."
To learn more about future plans for INFINITI brand electrification, or to take today's powerful and efficient 2018 INFINITI Q50 Hybrid for a test drive, contact INFINITI North Vancouver at (888) 204-5481 or drop by the showroom at 819 Automall Drive, North Vancouver.