• Feb 14th 2011 at 11:00AM
  • 51
Infiniti Etherea Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Infiniti has released the first few images of its new Etherea entry-level concept that's set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The automaker says that the Etherea's design "blends elements of coupe, sedan, hatchback and even crossover in one highly sculptural, near-mono volume form," though we find the end result to be a bit awkward from some angles.

There's plenty of throwback to the company's showstopping Essence concept in the Etherea's visuals, notably the wavy C-pillar design. At only 173.2 inches long, the concept is about four inches longer than a Nissan Versa hatchback, and because of this, many of the styling cues – specifically the headlamps and that rearmost pillar – seem like they would be more at home on a much larger car. Still, we'll withold judgment until we see the car in person on March 1 live in Geneva. In the meantime, click through our high-res gallery below to see a few shots of the new Etherea, and follow the jump for Infiniti's official press release.

Infiniti Etherea Concept
  • Infiniti Etherea Concept
  • Infiniti Etherea Concept front 3/4

  • Infiniti Etherea Concept
  • Infiniti Etherea Concept rear 3/4

  • Infiniti Etherea Concept
  • Infiniti Etherea Concept side profile

  • Infiniti Etherea Concept
  • Infiniti Etherea Concept headlight detail

[Source: Infiniti]
Show full PR text

ROLLE, Switzerland (February 14, 2011) – Infiniti today releases the first images of its concept car for the Geneva Motor Show in March. Called ETHEREA, it is a compact luxury model that previews how a future entry-level Infiniti could look.

The pictures show an evolving Infiniti identity along with a profile distinctly different from anything currently available in the premium compact class.

"ETHEREA is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers," said Toru Saito, Corporate Vice President and Leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit. "It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car."

Designed under the direction of Senior Vice President of Design Shiro Nakamura, ETHEREA blends elements of coupé, sedan, hatchback and even crossover in one highly sculptural, near-mono volume form.

At 4.4m it is highly compact but at the same time it is space efficient and practical thanks to a new mechanical layout and innovative access arrangements.

Among its surprises are high-tech new interpretations of traditional Japanese materials and finishes, and several design cues set to make their mark on future production models – including the highly distinctive crescent-shaped C-pillar first seen on the Essence concept.

The ETHEREA makes its world debut on the Infiniti stand (Hall 1, Booth 1030) at 12:15 CET on Tuesday 1 March 2011.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, so I love and hate the c-pillar. The trailing edge of the pillar, where it meets the rear glass, is sexy as hell, but then the leading edge, creating that uber-awkward side window (which would NEVER roll down), just looks goofy. It looks to me like someone was playing with the smudge tool in Photoshop. Overall, this car looks like it needs to grow into it's clothes a little...
        • 4 Years Ago
        my thoughts exactly...someone was left alone with Photoshop for far too long.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like the overall shape but that looks like one angry hentai character.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was thinking a very sleepy guppy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        or something from the movie Cars, I don't think any photoshop will be necessary
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      And I thought cars couldn't get any uglier after the Juke came out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's not perfect but it is pretty good I think.
      It manages to be different from the pack without being too outrageous I think.

      I kind of like the eyebrow on headlight anthropomophification.
      It reminds me of the charm of old VW beetles but this looks much less cute and much more capable.

      The light up grill/emblem on the front is horrible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think it's very cool from the profile and rear perspectives. I'd buy one even though the front looks a little over worked and fussy. I'll take on in AWD instead of a TT.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ugh. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. That looks like it was designed by the people at Mitsuoka... (look up the Orochi)
      • 4 Years Ago

      Looks sleepy.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I've loved Infiniti's recent concepts, but other than the immediate front and rear of this car, I'm not liking it at all; I'm especially not liking the zig-zaggy front and rear pillars. At least tell me this thing is RWD.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I keep waiting for it to blink at me.

      I also am amused by the "double-strike" rear doors. First, the extended top corner pokes you in the eye as you open the door, then the protruding C-pillar bumps your head as you get in.

      But hey, it's everything I always wanted in a compact-luxury-sport-utilicoupe-crosshatch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The pictures are not doing this thing any justice. I hope it looks better in the metal. I assume this is FWD. On the next gen Sentra platform?
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