Infiniti has been tight-lipped about the all-electric sedan it will unveil at the New York Auto Show this year, but The Detroit Bureau learned some new tidbits recently, including that Infiniti is designing the car to "be a luxury vehicle first and an electric vehicle second," as marketing manager Sam Chung told the Bureau.

The still-unnamed, five-seat EV shares some powertrain and platform parts with the Nissan Leaf, as we heard before, but will be "more aggressive." The Bureau says that means it will blend style points from Intiniti's G-Series, the JX CUV and possibly also the Emerg-E plug-in hybrid concept we saw in Geneva. Sharing platform parts with the Leaf means that the improved heater – and increased range in cold weather – will make the jump to the luxury model. Fittingly, Infiniti product planning manager Sean McNamara told The Detroit Bureau that the Infiniti EV's li-ion battery pack will be bigger than then Leaf's 24 kWh. The extra energy is intended to improve performance, not range.

From what we've heard before, despite being a concept, the new Infiniti EV is due in production form at some point in 2014 (no longer 2013). We will know better if this EV reaches Infiniti's promise of "inspired performance" soon from New York. Stay tuned.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      Edge
      • 2 Years Ago
      If there was no Tesla, the auto manufacturers would be saying, that's not a market we are interested in. With Tesla, they are saying, of course we are interested in EV's. It's what we always stood for, with decades of research.
        Edge
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Edge
        I forgot that Infiniti is Nissan's upscale brand, and they at least have some credibility through Nissan.
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      If my speculation about Nissan pinching Renault's heat pump technology is right, then the details of the heater are as follows: 'Attempts to cut the electrical drain of the cabin heater are a little harder to grasp. Like many other plug-in cars, the Zoe ZE can pre-condition its interior while still plugged into the mains, to preserve limited battery charge. On the move, though, Zoe can summon up as much as 3kW of warmth for every 1kW of energy taken from the battery. No, Renault’s engineers haven’t defied the laws of physics and nor have they fitted a wood-burning stove. They’ve used a heat pump – a machine that works exactly like an air conditioner in reverse. Heat pumps are more complex and more expensive than an ordinary electric heater, but when your energy supply is limited they are a great choice. A heat pump seems to get energy for nothing because it borrows heat from the cold air outside the car. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the key is to realise that even if it’s a bone-rattling -10°C outside, the air still holds more energy than it would if it were -20°C. Heat pumps take some of that latent energy to make it warmer inside and ever so slightly colder outside. The end result is more heat for your money. Heat pumps are so similar to air-conditioners that it’s likely Renault has been able to make double use of core components to save costs. Essentially the same kit could keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Which is clever. http://www.greenmotor.co.uk/2012/03/renault-zoe-ze-unmasked-keenly-priced.html The one on the Zoe also does in fact provide the air conditioning, with a COP of 2, ie every unit of electricity in provides 2 units of cool air.
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        @DaveMart Dave, I'm curious? can you tell me the difference between a reverse cycle airconditioner and a 'heat pump' ? There is actually no difference in principle, it's simply a matter of adding reversing valves. However, the design of the evaporator and condenser units needs to be carfully designed to maximise efficiency in heating mode. But more important, is the fan and aircirculation design. Automobile airconditioning (like all airconditioning) has always been a very neglected area in efficient design.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        they are almost certainly using a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. Heat pumps can cool or heat...many portable ac units now have a heat pump version for another $30 or so. Heat pump http://www.air-n-water.com/product/ac-12000h.htm Same model but ac only http://www.air-n-water.com/product/ac-12000e.htm
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          Yeah. You would be nuts not to. I've got one, a permanent install, in my flat. I didn't know that they could be made compact enough to install in a car though until I read the Zoe specs. Ideally they are using R744, CO2, as that is good to lower temperatures than other working fluids. Mine is fine down to -5C with a COP still up around 2.8, but peters out pretty well by around -10C. R744 is good for lower temperatures.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      No production until 2014. Well, Tesla, that is your window. Get those Model S cars out in quantity before Infiniti steps into your sandbox. Don't end up like all the little EV start-ups like Think and Aptera that died when EVs from big automakers hit the market.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        > The extra energy is intended to improve performance, not range. I don't think that this will douse enthusiasm for Tesla's 300 mile vehicles. The infinity offering will also probably be a "prosumer" vehicle(like the canon rebel) while Tesla's vehicles are in an "autophile" range(like canon EOS) where the vehicles are designed to be best in class across a wide range of specs.
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      More Choice is always good.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      More all electric love.. nice ;) Let's hope it comes with an over 100 mile 'real world' pack. This 75-100 mile range business borders on useless..
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Unfortunately the article states that the larger battery pack will be for more "performance", whatever that means. Inifiniti should give the option of a sport/eco mode and let the driver determine how to use the battery. I'm guessing a 32kWh capacity and with all wheel drive (front and rear electric motors).
        Dave R
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        75 mile real world range is enough for the vast, vast majority of my driving the past year - only exception was vacation driving. And even then - a couple of well placed quick chargers would have made half of the vacation trips possible without hassle - or just a 100 mile "real world" pack instead of a 75 mile pack. Face it - once you get to 75 miles / charge, you have passed the point of diminishing returns in terms of "bang for your buck" for battery pack size for typical drivers. Everyone else - they can drive PHEVs.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        75 miles makes the car basically a grocery getter and commuting vehicle. Where i live, you can't get to the next metro area within 70 miles. As the battery ages, you will get less and less mileage too. First it's 75.. then 60.. then 50.. the car gradually becomes less suitable as even a work commuting vehicle at that point. You have to build headroom into the range. Not run it at the bare minimum, where if you don't find a charger at your destination, you're screwed. I would not buy a 75-100 mile range car. Range anxiety is not fun. Tesla has the right approach.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @LTW "Wow, you really have taken to the anti-EV lines, haven't you?" That's not really fair! 2WM, is expressing a personal point of view and is perfectly entitled to prefer the great range of the Tesla. That doesn't mean he's anti-EV. Just prefers an EV with greater range. (So do I, which is why I drive an EV with a 240 mile range.) Somebody else may find 70 miles great for their needs. Each to his own!
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          "I would not buy a 75-100 mile range car. Range anxiety is not fun." Wow, you really have taken to the anti-EV lines, haven't you?
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        I think 75 to 100 is fine for now . . . the early adopter market. And it helps keep costs down. But to get more mainstream adoption they'll need to break the 100 mile mark. I think every company should do what Tesla did and offer the cars with different sized battery packs so the customers can pick what they need in price & range. I think there would even be a market for low-cost 50 mile range EVs for people that just want an EV to drive back & forth to work.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another no compromise EV coming to market? Very good, it'll be interesting to see what the specifications are. Tesla has created the benchmark for this segment of vehicle with their model S and the Infiniti will invariably get measured against it. Hopefully Nissan isn't borrowing too much Leaf tech for this vehicle, although maybe in double amounts it might work (double the battery pack, double the motors etc.).
        throwback
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Considering no one outside of Tesla has driven a model S prototype, much less a production car, it's a little early to call the Model S a benchmark.
          BMW-M
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          The Infiniti will probably be like 15 grand less and won't be from a company that could go bankrupt at any time. The Model S is still vaporware until it sells.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          As the only luxury market EV that is months away from initial deliveries I think its safe to say Tesla is creating the benchmark for the luxury EV market (whether its good or bad) that the Infiniti will be measured against in 2 years when it comes to market. It'll be the only vehicle in that market and all other future vehicles coming to the luxury EV market will be measured against it - that's a benchmark. JMHO...
          pmpjunkie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @throwback
          I have driven it, and I am in no way associated with Tesla. And don't worry, it will be the new benchmark.
        MTN RANGER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        It would be silly for Nissan not to use Leaf technology in the new Infiniti - they spent billions on developing over the years. Obviously they are going for luxury and performance. What about the possibility of a range extender that was mentioned in older articles?
      Anne
      • 2 Years Ago
      "The extra energy is intended to improve performance, not range." From every comment, every article one thing is clear: the spitting contest is about range. If customers pay, say, $20,000 more than a LEAF, they will want to feel that money buys a superior vehicle. With the current state of EV's 'superior' means: better range.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        Performance pretty well maps to range, depending on how you drive. If you put your foot down, this will do no more miles than the Leaf, Nissan tell us. But how often is it actually going to be driven flat out? Some of whatever extra batteries they give it will be mopped up by it being a bigger, heavier car, but if you drive it in a relatively restrained manner it should also go quite a bit further than the Leaf.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Anne
        Anne you said it. Anyone considering a luxury brand EV - Nissan execs better get their heads on straight and start waking up (they seem to really think Leaf range is okay) - Leaf range (with its ongoing deterioration) is not even remotely okay for a vehicle like this. It needs 150 mile Nissan range (which would be 125 real world range and more would be better) as its competition is the Tesla Model S, otherwise they'll only sell handful of these to the few Nissan faithful.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Anne
        NIssan/Renault like Mitsubishi are very focussed. They know the subsidies won't last forever and are bent on driving costs down as fast as possible, through mass production and not getting fancy. The last thing they want at the moment is to have to go to bigger batteries. The argument against that is that without better range they won't hit sales targets. I reckon though that they are working to similar oil price projections as I and many others. With ever tighter supplies and more expensive oil the drive to go electric is unstoppable, and even with range limitations they should be able to sell plenty. Depending on how that goes they may be in a position to increase range with the next generation of batteries,which will also through greater energy density make packaging them in the existing space easier, but I really see them emphasising taking cost out for some time. If you need longer range Nissan is getting in the hybrid/plug in hybrid game, as is Mitsubishi.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      Infiniti is designing the car to "be a luxury vehicle first and an electric vehicle second," Makes sense to me. If someone just wants an EV, they can buy the Leaf.
    • Load More Comments