03 March 2009

Geneva show: Infiniti Essence

Swoopy hybrid concept showcases some important tech

Infiniti Essence Concept

As a piece of fantasy, this Infiniti Essence Concept is pretty dreamy. But underneath all that swoopiness is some important tech that'll sneak its way into Infiniti's real-world cars over the next two years.

Deep breath: it's powered by a 3.7-litre twin turbo V6 petrol-electric hybrid. Might be a mouthful, but it makes around 600bhp, which rolls off the tongue quite nicely, don't you think?

Drop the turbos, detune it a little and you'll have the basis for Infiniti's hybrid powertrain, which will give things like the Lexus RX450h a run for its money. But it'll have to have a seriously low CO2 output to get close - the Lexus kicks out just 148g/km, which is almost unheard of for a yummy mummy's SUV. So watch out Lexus, Infiniti is coming for you.

That's not all. The Essence might be a show car, but its design won't be wasted. As with any weird concept, expect to see bits and bobs cropping up on future models. Bits like the air vent behind the front wheel arch - it's inspired by a ‘Japanese comb', apparently.

We're not sure what a Japanese comb looks like, but after seeing this, we're pretty sure we want one. And if future Infinitis look and go like this, then we want one of those too.

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