Infiniti Essence Concept
Infiniti Essence Concept Hybrid Electric Luxury Sports Coupe the Most Beautiful Japanese Car, Ever.
The Infiniti Essence Concept, introduced at Geneva 2009, is unlike most concept cars in that it is presented with Louis Vuitton luggage matched to the new supercar that is custom fit inside the rear hatch. The Infiniti Essence uses a similar engine to the GT-R at its heart, but adds a newly-developed Nissan corporate electric motor to produce an extra 158 horsepower.
Far from a dressed up GT-R, the Infiniti Essence is hands down the most attractive car to ever come from Nissan, and arguably the most attractive Japanese car in history, concept or not. The instantly iconic design pulls elements from the GT-R and Infiniti's own G37 Coupe, though resembles nothing on the market today.
There are hints of the Fisker Karma in the Essence's front end, though the Essence Concept is infinitely more precisely excecuted than the Karma.
With a gasoline and electric combined output of 592 horsepower, the Essence dwarfs even the Nissan GT-R in raw power. This is no track day car though, at a body length of 4720 mm the Essence is as long as a Rolls Royce and likely nearly as heavy.
In official Essence press materials released to coincide with Geneva 2009, Infiniti is cryptic about production plans for an Infiniti model based on the Essence. At one point they are emphatic about the Essence's impact on the luxury brand's future, calling it "not is merely an indulgent birthday present from Infiniti to itself."
Later in the same press release, things are made more complicated when Infiniti says the Essence "isn't a teaser for a new model." One point is clear: the hybrid powertrain first employed in the Essence is bound for future Nissan/Infiniti hybrid cars, something the brand sorely needs as it seeks to compete with its Japanese counterparts. The Nissan Altima hybrid has not sold well, and cannot stack up to newer models from Toyota and Honda in the efficiency department.
Call it technology showcase, design trendsetter, or whatever you will, the Infiniti Essence Concept is knock-out gorgeous. It is no accident that a Japanese halo concept car makes its debut at Geneva, as Infiniti is primed and ready to bring its thrilling product line to the European market.
INFINITI ESSENCE: THE MAGNIFICATION OF "INSPIRED PERFORMANCE"
Official Infiniti Press Release, Geneva Motor Show
ROLLE, Switzerland (March 3, 2009) - The essence of the Infiniti brand distilled into one car and then taken to the extremes to satisfy the world's most demanding car enthusiasts ... this is the Infiniti Essence.
Presented as a concept at the 79th International Motor Show of Geneva, Essence is a celebration of Infiniti and its 20 years history as a creator of performance cars. But equally it is an inspiring exploration into the brand's future.
The dramatic design, technology and performance statement is a 600PS, petrol/electric hybrid coupe with rear-wheel drive. What Essence is not is merely an indulgent birthday present from Infiniti to itself.
This concept embodies Infiniti's core values as an inspiration for the future as much a celebration of the past. Essence showcases many of the technologies, including hybrid, and design cues that will distinguish Infiniti production cars of the coming years. And by steering Infiniti's guiding principle of "Inspired Performance" into the super-performance, super-luxury coupe market for the first time, it reaffirms Infiniti's place among the world's most exclusive and vibrant car brands.
ESSENCE: AN OVERVIEW
• A front-engined, two-seat, 600PS luxury coupe concept, 4.7m long
• First motor show preview of Infiniti's petrol/electric hybrid drivetrain
• Capable of vast speeds where conditions allow, zero emissions where they don't
• Rear-wheel drive for maximum driver involvement
• Fresh design language to influence future production models
• Previews new safety technology including Back-up Collision Prevention
• Minimalist and intensely driver-focused interior
• "New luxury" meets traditional Japanese craftsmanship
• Bespoke Louis Vuitton fitted luggage to maximise trans-continental capability
ESSENCE: THE CONCEPT
"An Essence owner is characterized by his or her fearless self confidence; he or she is an intellectual hero rather than just a successful money maker."
Francois Bancon, General Manager Advanced Product Planning
Essence began life not in the design studio but in Infiniti's product planning department. Francois Bancon, General Manager Advanced Product Planning, and his team might not, at the start of the project, have known how Essence would look, but they did know what it had to be, why it had to exist – and who it would appeal to.
"Essence is a brand icon," Francois Bancon said. "It is driven more by a conceptual approach than by any design execution. It is not just an object. It isn't a teaser for a new model. It is solely dedicated to Infiniti brand promotion, to demonstrate and advocate the Infiniti unique values."
The concept called for a very clear understanding of who the super-luxury coupe's potential customers would be. Painstakingly, Bancon and his team of advanced product planners built up a picture of a typical Essence owner. It was a profile that showed an uncompromising, risk-taking 42-year-old passionate about the best things in life, but equally passionate about not flaunting them. "These consumers don't need to demonstrate to others," said Bancon. "They are already at the next step of achievement that leads to rewarding themselves first."
Francois Bancon went on: "We wanted a new way of mixing various ingredients to get a car that was reserved but with a big presence, something trendy but also indicating the next trend. We wanted a car that aspired to become a cult. It had to be exclusive, smart and mysterious. For the driver, it had to sum up the six-word essence of Essence:
DrivetrainLayoutFront Engine, RWDTransmissionPaddle-Shifted Automated ManualEngineType:Turbocharged V6 with 3D Electric Power Assist MotorElectric MotorNissan 3D Electric Motor, 158 bhpHorsepower, V6434 bhpHorsepower592 bhp (combined)Torque500 NmExteriorBody Type2 Door, 2 Seat GT CoupeLength4720 mmWidth1960 mmHeight1310 mmWheelbase2800 mmWheels22 inch