Infiniti Emerg-e - Geneva Motor Show 2012

Infiniti says, “Infiniti was conceived as a front-engined, rear wheel drive brand and this is what the design architecture has always been about. The challenge for the designers has been to apply that to a mid-engined car.” – Wayne Bruce, European Communications Director, Infiniti.

Spec Sheet: The Emerg-e’s lotus-derived range-extending drivetrain develops 300kW allowing the Emerg-e to hit 60mph in around four seconds. The concept can also manage 30 miles of pure electric driving, and this expands to 300 miles with the help of a 3-cylinder engine.

Three years ago Infiniti revealed the Essence concept, which was a petrol-electric hybrid sports car. Whilst Essence was exciting to look at, it was very much in the mould we were used to from Infiniti. Emerg-e is different. It’s the first time Infiniti has built a car in style of a traditional supercar, and as first-attempts go in this industry it’s a staggering achievement aesthetically.

Moving the twin electric motors from infront of to just behind the cabin has allowed Shiro Nakamura and his design team to taper the front of the Emerg-e beautifully, and the side of the car is characterized by a feature line that extends from the front grill, up the bonnet and over the wheel arch before falling towards an air intake on the rear haunches. This, says Infiniti’s Communications Director Wayne Bruce, has been designed to express the allusion of a long bonnet – something alien to mid-engined cars.

One of the features carried over from the Essence concept are the ‘crescent cut’ C-pillars which look fantastic on the Emerg-e and the headlights, inspired by the eyes of a Japanese god, flaunt the new headlight graphic for Infiniti production cars. So far so good.

Although the vehicle at Geneva was only a fragile 20mph model, Infiniti are currently working on two running prototypes that will be capable of holding their own against everything this side of a 911. Interestingly, Infiniti have had to use a mid-engine platform supplied by Lotus, a partner of theirs for a long time, and so the Emerg-e is in fact a close sibling to the Evora 414E. It would be fantastic to see Infiniti carry the electric supercar flame now that the Tesla Roadster is on hiatus.