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Infiniti's Flagship May Be Emerg-E...Or An SUV

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On: Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:03AM | By: Chris Weiss

Infiniti's Flagship May Be Emerg-E...Or An SUV

Things were going so well. The Infiniti Emerg-E was looking good to fill the role of Infiniti flagship, and if it didn't make it, it was looking like it would be an Essence-inspired sports car - even better! The latest report throws that little slice of Infiniti utopia into question. While the Emerg-E is still a possibility, the other possibilities aren't as attractive.

After what we assume was the same discussion with Nissan that brought news about the 370Z, Inside Line reports that Infiniti's flagship could be either the Emerg-E, a sedan or ... an SUV. Interestingly, the report doesn't mention the Essence-based sports car that Car & Driver talked about just two weeks ago.

Last we checked, Infiniti had plenty of sedans and SUVs, but a dire lack of 400- to 600-hp sports coupes with hybrid technology. A flagship sedan or SUV? That's a real yawn fest, especially in light of all the talk of a sports car. On the plus side, the new report doesn't get into any specifics as to what the sedan or SUV would look like, so hopefully those models are outside possibilities.

The fact that the media continues to report on an Infiniti flagship, and the fact that those reports continue to mention the Emerg-E, leads us to believe that Infiniti is leaning toward the mid-engined plug-in hybrid. It drove the car publicly for the first time at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed and has said that the prototype models would undergo a year of testing. So it clearly didn't abandon the design on its Geneva podium.

Infiniti worked closely with Lotus on the concept, borrowing drivetrain components and the chassis. Design chief Shiro Nakamura mentioned to IL the possibility that Lotus could manufacture a low volume production run if the car gets the green light.

Even if the Emerg-E doesn't get the nod, some styling will show up in Infiniti's line. Infiniti mentioned this fact when it debuted the concept, and Nakamura said that the 2014 G sedan and an upcoming small hatchback will be among the cars to borrow some cues.



33Nicolas | 12:27PM (Fri, Jul 27, 2012)

It will be interesting how it fares against the BMW i8. although, not technically the same and not the same performance, I'm betting Infiniti will price it below the i8.

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