Just recently, we reported that Johan de Nysschen left Audi USA to head up Infiniti, and it appears he is already making some necessary changes. According to Car Sales, Nysschen confirmed that it, like many other automakers, is heading away from V-8 engine configurations to help reduced CO2 emissions and help it meet the anticipated CAFE standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. He was quoted saying: “I don’t think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan”
It is admirable seeing luxury automakers willing to take a step forward to help meet the needs of the world, as fuel prices continue to rise. This is a sharp contrast to his former employer stance, as Volkswagen has spoken out pretty harshly against these upcoming regulations and is one of only a handful of car manufacturers that has not signed the CAFE agreement. We wonder if this was a ideological difference that helped push Nysschen away from Audi and VW.
Keep an eye out for the next generation of Infiniti cars to be lacking the all mighty Nissan 5.6-liter V-8 engine and we are now awaiting Nissan to announce a similar changeover. This would entail changes to the Nissan Titan and NV van lineups. Ford has already shown that a turbocharged V-6 engine works great in a pickup truck and we’re sure it translates well to a van too.
When the Emerg-E popped onto the scene during the Geneva Auto Show, us automotive folk were amazed at the technology and potential behind this car. We were also amazed to see a rather familiar platform looking back at us, as the Emerg-E is built on the same platform as the Lotus Evora.
Lotus is no stranger to lending out its platforms and bodies for various performance applications (see: Hennessey Venom GT), but it has never gotten into the actual building phase of these cars. Infiniti has yet to confirm that the Emerg-E for production, but its sister company, Renault, has already announced that the Alpine will go into production, in one form or another.
Since Renault has also made it clear that the Alpine will not be much like its concept and the Emerg-E is already based on a Lotus concept, why not save a little scratch and build both models on the same platform? There is really no reason not to and there is absolutely no way that Lotus would refuse this deal, as it sorely needs a little extra money these days.
Sure, the production level may be low and the income may be limited, but it would at least help put Lotus back into the sports car conversation. In addition to getting its foot back into the sports car door, with the Evora and Emerg-E being range-extended electric vehicles, this could carve Lotus a real nice and potentially profitable niche.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of this, but the connection is already there, it just needs a little push in the right direction.
The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing now and medals are quickly adding up. We started wondering what about the varying cars of the world? There is no auto racing in the Olympics and a love of awesome cars is one thing that is shared throughout the entire world. So why not include them?
Here at Topspeed, we felt it was time to give our 4-wheeled friends a fair chance and display the top supercars from each of the countries participating in the 2012 Summer Games – those that produce supercars. So let’s have a look at what these countries have to offer. You may be surprised to find out what countries produce some awesome supercars and what ones don’t produce any at all.
We stand to learn a lot about the world of supercars while putting this piece together, so we are certain you will learn a ton right along with us.
Click past the jump to read our entire list and check out our full infographic.
The hype surrounding the Infiniti Emerg-E turned out to be false hope, but Infiniti may still have plans for the concept. The coulda, shoulda, woulda halo car recently died out at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed after reports leaked out that its performance may not be as impressive as Infiniti had originally reported. We’re sure having to be towed away definitely wasn’t in the plans. All of that being said, in a recent interview with Inside Line, Shiro Nakamura - Nissan and Infiniti design chief - said that the company is still hoping that the Emerg-E will become the new flagship model for the Nissan luxury brand.
According to Nakamura, the Emerg-E could still be built in limited edition in Britain and Lotus could potentially be behind the build considering the Emerg-E is loosely based off the experimental Lotus Evora 414E hybrid.
Other possibilities for a new flagship Infiniti model are an SUV or a sedan. Either way, he suggested that the 2014 G sedan and a new small hatchback will feature design elements from the Emerg-E. The new G sedan is expected to be unveiled in 2013, while the hatchback, previewed by the Etherea concept, will be unveiled in 2014.
"Today’s G looks a bit fat, but the new G has really nice proportions, and it’s much sportier," Nakamura said. "The compact hatchback is very expressive, but not like the FX. I’m very content with them."
Any hopes for a great hybrid super car from Infiniti may be dead in the water, but we’re still banking on the back that the company has the Essence Concept in its back pocket. Whether they’ll do anything with this 592 hp petrol-electric hybrid ace in the hole is a whole other argument.
Infiniti has just added a new version to its M35h line-up: the new M35h GT arrives in Infiniti dealers from July and will be priced from £41,101 - or about $65,000 at the current exchange rates. With this price the new GT model is about £3970 ($6,200) cheaper than the current Premium version.
The M35h’s hybrid system combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 68 HP electric motor mated to a 7-speed Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) automatic transmission. This system helps the sedan to deliver an impressive fuel economy of 29 mpg (combined).
The new GT version is offered with an impressive list of standard equipments including a 16-speaker Bose® surround system, Infiniti’s latest Connectiviti+ navigation/entertainment system, semi-aniline leather seat facings, heated and ventilated front seats, bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS), alloy wheels and White Ash wood trim finished with real silver powder.
"Cost of ownership is an important consideration in any new car purchase. With the M35h GT grade it now means that the P11D values have been reduced and along with the recently improved CO2 rating there are lower bills for companies and for their drivers," said Infiniti UK Fleet Sales Manager, Simon Lewis.
This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed should have been the official debut for Infiniti’s first Emerg-e running prototype, but as you know, things don’t always go as planned. Instead of showing us what an amazing car the Emerg-e is, Infiniti’s first running prototype ran for a little while and then broke down. It is not known for sure if this was a mechanical problem or if the Emerg-e ran out of power, but what we know for sure is that it needed to be towed.
Do you remember what Jerry Hardcastle, Global Chief Marketability Engineer said before Goodwood? "The spectators will see not just an exquisite design but an example of our and our partners’ technologies for an environmentally-friendly car brimming with true Infiniti driver appeal." Well, he got one part right: the Emerg-e was indeed environmentally-friendly, it didn’t actually run!
There is no doubt that a fairly wide gap exists between Infiniti and its F1 sponsorship. Really, there is not a single production Infiniti that anyone can point to and say “Ah, that is a car that relates to open-wheel performance racing.” Sure, there have been concepts and so forth, but nothing firm.
The halo car was once thought to be the upcoming Emerg-E hybrid, but signs are pointing that the Emerg-E may disappoint. Infiniti is planning to have a running prototype of the Emerg-E ready to go for Goodwood Festival of Speed and, according to several outside sources that Car and Driver has spoken to, this gas-electric hybrid may not be the performance car that everyone is expecting (sub-five-second 0 – 60 time, 420 horsepower, etc.).
While that is really disappointing, as we were anticipating huge things from the Emerg-E, we cannot say that we are surprised. Infiniti has been really tight-lipped on this project, which oftentimes means that there are some issues going on. If the reports are accurate, then the tight lips have been due to the Emerg-E not being able to reach the power numbers that Infiniti estimated.
Don’t fret though, as Infiniti does have a fallback plan, in the form of the 2009 concept, the Essence. Yes, the Essence has been effectively shelved since its debut, but, according to reports, there are still talks about this 592-horsepower hybrid making its way into production in one form or another.
For now, all we have are unconfirmed reports from outside sources, so we will reserve our judgment for Goodwood. Who knows, the Emerg-E could come out and blow us away, and Infiniti may have kept it quiet just to avoid the competition, like Acura’s NSX and BMW’s i8, from knowing what Infiniti is planning.
Goodwood kicks off on June 28th, so we don’t have to wait too awful long to find out. We’ll update you just as soon as we hear more about this situation.
We are always coming across crazy videos of races of car vs. other various non-automotive things, like horses, cheetahs, fighter jets, etc. This latest one was set up by Infiniti and Red Bull, and it pitted the Infiniti G37S against the most natural thing on Earth, gravity. How exactly do you measure gravity? Well, you toss a man out of a helicopter at 3,500 feet with a parachute strapped to his back, of course.
The above video starts off with professional F1 driver, Mark Webber, and professional skydiver, Jon DeVore, learning each other’s trade – Jon behind the wheel of the Infiniti and Mark in a skydiving wind tunnel. After each one got a taste of how tough the other one’s sport is – both actually fared pretty well in the other’s sport – they decided a race was in order.
A helicopter lifted DeVore 3,500 feet in the air and he took a dive, as Webber raced around ICAR circuit and Mirabel airport. The race was amazingly close, considering the vast difference between the two modes of transportation, but from what we can tell, the Infiniti beat gravity by at least a few seconds. Of course, gravity had that pesky resistance created by the parachute holding it back. We are willing to bet that without that hunk of nylon slowing DeVore down, gravity would have won by a long shot. But, uh, yeah… That would be a tad bit dangerous.
Anywho, enjoy the above video. Our favorite part is watching each athlete try the other one’s sport. It’s simply amazing how these guys can just jump into something like that, having never done it before, and do well at it.
Infiniti has taken their time releasing the EMERG-E bit by bit with teaser image after teaser images, but the concept has finally made its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Emerg-E is a highly advanced mid-ship sports car with a future dependent on the reaction of the folks at the auto show. Whether it makes it to production or not, it offers an exciting glimpse into Infiniti’s future.
Next to a completely new design language, the concept also features an array of exciting new technologies that the brand "will adopt in its quest to build dramatic and sustainable high performance cars."
The EMERG-E is powered by a twin electric motor that develops a total of 402 HP. It will sprint from 0 to 60mph in just four seconds and from zero to 130 mph in 30 seconds.
UPDATE 03/08/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Infiniti EMERG-E.
UPDATE 06/14/2012: After debuting the concept version at the Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti has announced that the first running prototype will be unveiled at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed (28 June-1 July). Jerry Hardcastle, Global Chief Marketability Engineer, commented: "The Festival of Speed crowds will be seeing EMERG-E in action for the first time ever, even before many of Infiniti’s top executives have seen it. Goodwood’s spectators will see not just an exquisite design but an example of our and our partners’ technologies for an environmentally-friendly car brimming with true Infiniti driver appeal."
Hit the jump to read more about the Infiniti EMERG-E concept.
Since its launch in 1989, Nissan’s luxury division, Infiniti, has been more of a BMW and Mercedes-Benz alternative rather than a competitor. Typically, Infiniti buyers want a luxury car, but don’t want the costs or stigma that comes with owning its German counterparts. For these reasons, Infiniti has really been more of a background luxury lineup, even when compared to Lexus.
Infiniti feels that now is the time to change and it plans on starting this change right in BMW and Mercedes’s back yard: Europe. According to Renault-Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, by 2016, Infiniti is expected to sell 100,000 units in the European market, nearly 10 times the cars it sold in 2011. The plan is to build a lineup around the 245-horsepower hot hatchback that Infiniti teased via a concept car dubbed the Etherea in Geneva. This hatchback, which is due out in 2014, is expected to account for at least 50 percent of the 100,000 total sales.
As we said, these are very lofty goals for a car company just hitting a certain market, especially one as crowded as the European one is. Add in the fact that the hatchback segment is especially crowded in Europe and you have one heck of a difficult task to undertake. Given Infiniti continues to produce high-quality cars, it is attainable, but it will require some heavy advertising to overtake other makes in the market.
In the same breath, Ghosn also stated that Infiniti plans to increase global sales to 500,000 units by 2016. That seems slightly more realistic, as it is only an increase of 146,000 total sales. For now we’ll just say that we’re skeptical that Infiniti will actually hit the European sales number. We definitely wish the best to Infiniti, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on this situation.