NEW YORK – Nissan’s Infiniti luxury brand shows an "85% accurate" concept of its dedicated upcoming electric vehicle at the auto show here.
The LE concept, which can travel at least 100 miles (161 km) on a single charge, has all-aluminum body panels that will translate over to the production model, Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer tells media following the car’s unveiling.
"The two drivers of that car, within the constraints of the style, are weight and aerodynamics," Palmer says. "Two big steps over (the Nissan) Leaf (EV) are the (coefficiency of drag) factor and the weight reduction."
The Infiniti EV will be an all-new sedan but will draw upon the Leaf’s battery technology, he says. "But we changed a little bit on the chemistry so you get better range."
The LE concept has a synchronous electric motor that produces 134 hp and 240 lb.-ft. (325 Nm) of torque. The lithium-ion battery pack is rated at 24 kWh, the same as in the Leaf.
The Infiniti EV will be the first electric vehicle with inductive-charging capabilities, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says.
The wireless charging takes place as the EV is parked over an electrified surface. The LE concept uses a "coil safely encased on the garage floor," Infiniti says, adding the high-frequency AC 3.3-kW charging can be controlled via a smartphone.
Although all production Infiniti EVs will have inductive-charging capability, whether the technology will be offered in every country where the car is sold "depends on government regulations,” Palmer says. “It's executable in some countries but not in others.”
The front-wheel-drive LE concept rides on 19-in. aluminum alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires.
Stylistically, the concept will be similar to the production model, although the grilles will be somewhat different, Palmer says. A crescent-cut rear pillar and Infiniti's signature double-arch grille are present on the concept.
The LE concept’s interior has both digital and analog displays. The center cluster houses a twin display using an Intel Atom processor. As with some other Infiniti models, the car’s aesthetics were inspired by Japanese history, with the seat and door trim derived from the "Eriashi" or collar of a kimono.
Violet accents are used in the seats' suede-and-mesh fabric, while seat sides are swathed in semi-aniline leather.