Infiniti Shows Essence of Hybrid Sports Car

To Infiniti and beyond. But, will this slick ride survive the economy?
Concept Hybrid Infiniti Essence Sports CarEarlier this week, at the Geneva International Motor Show, Infiniti unveiled the Essence concept hybrid car. I have to say, it’s incredibly beautifully designed – modern and classic, all at once – with more power than most eco-drivers could ever need (592 horse-power, anyone?). But, lovely exterior and powerful guts aside, will this hybrid car ever make it to the dealerships? It’s dripping with high-end, designer features and was specially crafted with a young, wealthy, sports-minded buyer in mind. With that market segment steadily dwindling, who will buy these designer masterpieces?
Exterior has some great pictures of the Essence’s exterior. It’s fluid and crisp, with few bells and whistles to distract your eye from the body shape. There are no fog lights and no door handles, instead, push-buttons open the driver and passenger doors. The hybrid car also lacks side mirrors and instead uses cameras built into the A pillars, again to create a more seamless look. LED brake lights accent the L-shaped tail lights and stainless steel serves as the finishing touch on the rear of the vehicle. On top, a full-length glass roof ensures that the cabin stays bright and airy as the driver zips around town.
A unique design inside the Infiniti Essence makes both driver and passenger feel nice and cozy. The driver’s seat and passenger seat are designed to be separate “cocoons” for each person and are separated by a curved console. Even the leather on each seat is customized with stitching to mimic the different ways men and women tie their kimonos. The driver’s cocoon is red, while the passenger’s is black. The Japanese-inspired interior also features wood trim. There is no back seat in this sports coupe, which isn’t different than most sports cars. Instead, the electrical parts of the car, battery and motor sit in its place. One of the most luxurious features is a custom-designed luggage set designed by none-other than Louis Vuitton.
As stated earlier, the Infiniti Essence will boast a 592 horse power engine, with 434 hp coming from a twin-turbo V6 and the remaining 158 hp coming from the lithium-ion powered electric motor, which rests in the back seat. The car boasts rear-wheel drive and the same hybrid power train used in the Nissan 370Z (a Nissan 3.7V6), just beefed-up a bit for extra power.
Overall, this car would have done well had it been released as a concept a year, or even a few months ago. These days, who knows? Nevertheless, it looks like an amazing drive and offers hybrid-enthusiasts a level of sport and luxury we haven’t seen yet.

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