Infiniti Emerg-e: Pre-Production


Infiniti’s electric supercar, the Emerg-e, which nearly stole the show earlier this year in Geneva, reappeared last weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.  Now, however, the Emerg-e seems significantly more production ready, with a few subtle exterior changes and a brutally fast drivetrain.

Although still extremely striking, the Emerg-e is now slightly lower and a little narrower than the concept at Geneva was. Its carbon-fibre and aluminium body is also painted in a satin-gray colour, and these changes combine to make to the Emerg-e altogether more subtle (or was it the two Bugatti Veyrons parked adjacent?).

There have also been practical issues to address – mainly that this updated car needs working wing mirrors and that, as a proper car with complex and powerful technology under its skin (unlike the 20mph mock-up at Geneva), cooling is now extremely important.  Handily, the elegant new wing mirrors have been painstakingly designed to channel air into the kimono-inspired air-intakes on the haunches, rather than blocking the airflow to them completely.

One thing, however, that stood out on the concept car was that the front fenders were aggressively raised, sitting as high as the rear haunches, lending the Emerg-e a hugely purposeful stance which has now been lost.

Another noticeable addition to the exterior is the black wing that now adorns the Emerg-e’s sculpted rear. Love it or loathe it, this wing is needed to efficiently distribute weight over the car’s rear-axle and, as these things go, we think it’s been rather tastefully done.

Inside, the Emerg-e is very normal, and a far cry from the lithe and fluid interior offered by the concept.  There’s a nice mix of alcantara, leather and carbon-fibre, and air-vents in the doors mimic the intakes on the outside. The interior, however, is altogether a little uninspiring and it’s safe to assume that Infiniti will shake things up a bit before, and if, the Emerg-e goes on sale at an estimated £100,000.

Watching it glide up the Goodwood hill like a wraith, there’s no doubt that the Emerg-e is a very fast car. It uses a 17kW battery that powers two electric motors, one in each of the rear wheels. When that runs out after around 30 miles, a 3-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine fires up to recharge it and increase range to 300 miles. Like the Chevrolet Volt, the engine never powers the Emerg-e, only the electric motors.

Altogether the Emerg-e produces around 400bhp and a comparably impressive torque figure. A top speed of 130mph also means that keeping up with the traffic shouldn’t be a problem.

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