• Jul 5th 2010 at 2:43PM
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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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