• Jul 5th 2010 at 2:43PM
  • 19
Infiniti Essence Concept - click above for high-res image gallery

Infiniti is reportedly set to follow Lexus into the premium compact hatchback segment with a new model for the European market. With Lexus about to launch its hybrid CT200h and the Europeans already well established with the likes of the Audi A3 and Citroen's new DS3, Infiniti apparently needs a hatch-shaped player to compete.

Autocar reports that the Infiniti will draw on the design of the Essence concept and feature a coupe-like profile. The new compact hatchback will be in addition to the Infiniti electric car that CEO Carlos Ghosn announced at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall. The Infiniti EV will share the platform and battery system of the Nissan Leaf, but may use a more powerful electric motor. There's no word on what platform this unnamed hatch will be based on, but Infiniti's corporate parents at Nissan have a host of front-wheel drive architectures to choose from and a range of engines to provide the new model with enough oomph.



[Source: Autocar]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      We have an FX. Fabulous car!

      Don't diminish the Infiniti brand with a front wheel drive.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Don't forget the I30
      • 5 Years Ago
      well if any japanese luxury automaker has the chops to build a fwd hatch that's sporty enough to be relevant to european tastes, it's infiniti. I'm looking forward to seeing how this ends up
      • 5 Years Ago
      The sexiest Infiniti ever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Forget front wheel drive. This should be the all new M class coupe. Put in the updatee V6 and V8 engines and keep that gorgeous interior!!
      The End!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ooooor, they could instead focus on building a half-way decent Versa replacement. I mean, don't get me wrong, Infiniti makes some great looking cars and I don't doubt they'd be able to produce a hatch that'd look amazing, but I just wish they'd focus on offering some sort of hatch that can battle the likes of the Golf or 3. Perhaps a restyled Clio?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like one-77.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, I hope it's not FWD... Infiniti has been all RWD.. would be a shame if it was FWD.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @paul34

        No the M is RWD/AWD
        • 5 Years Ago
        The I30 and I35 were both front wheel drive as well. Wasn't the J30 front wheel as well? Not sure about that one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        umm the first 2 generations of the G ( G20) were both FWD correct me if im wrong but im pretty sure there were more....
        • 5 Years Ago
        @chainsaw: the j30 was rwd and essentially a 4 door 240sx/silvia with the 300zx motor. Several ppl have swapped manuals and track them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Isn't the M FWD/AWD?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm all for RWD, but I have no problem with FWD if it's done properly. For example, the Acura RSX Type-S is the most satisfying FWD vehicle that I've ever driven.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the gens before the g37 coupe werent always rwd, but once the g 37 was introduced, infiniti been mostly rwd with awd options. And damn that essense (whatever its called) concept looks awesome. I used to think that Alfas and Maserati were only two company that knew how to design a sexy Godzilla, but damn that concept looks nice. I think it could of been secretly design by the person that did the Maserati gran turismo.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like this prototype but I think making this body a front drive would be a mismatch. The weirdest thing would be to have the driver so far back. But I am no designer so it is just an appreciation. They will probably change it beyond recognition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        or a M couple is fine too..
        • 5 Years Ago
        The pic is of the essence concept, the one supposedly rivaling the lfa and such. This will probably be an audi a3 rival or something close to that (minus the wagon configuration)
        • 5 Years Ago
        they should just make the prototype the next G coupe... I would so buy one.. heh
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