Looks like this is the Infiniti Emerg-e concept car bound for the 2012 Geneva motor show. These leaked images from an Italian blog, filed at the European patent office, have surfaced overnight, blowing the planned embargo on Infiniti's range-extender hybrid sports car concept.
Infiniti has only issued a couple of teaser photos and confirmed the name of the Infiniti Emerg-e and had hoped to keep the styling under wraps until 6 March 2012.
Infiniti Emerg-e: what we know so far
Details remain sketchy about the Emerg-e so far. We know it's a 'range-extender' hybrid and will run on zero-emissions electric mode for substantial periods. It's the first Infiniti to feature this powertrain.
Infiniti has also confirmed this Evora-alike design packages the range-extender hybrid hardware amidships.
An earlier announcement said: 'Mid-ship layout for optimal weight distribution, at the same time facilitating a change in vocabulary for Infiniti’s design language.' So take note of the kinked C-pillar and body surfacing of these leaked Emerg-e design sketches. They may indeed point to future styling directions for Infiniti.
Early dripfeed teasers also claim the car is very lightweight.
Infiniti and its sports car hopes
We wouldn't expect the Emerg-e to, ahem, emerge from Geneva with a production future. The brand has so far committed to launching a new electric car based around Nissan Leaf technology in 2014 and a crucial C-segment hatchback in the vein of the Lexus CT200h and BMW 1-series - due in 2015 and based loosely on the Ehterea concept car.
The fledgling brand is still establishing a foothold in Europe and needs to concentrate on bread-and-butter cars before it can think about icing on the cake like sports cars. It must also refresh its existing range of sports saloons and crossovers and the tie-up with Daimler will bring four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines in the G and M ranges, hugely extending their appeal.
However, a senior product planning executive revealed to CAR that Infiniti was seeking to launch a top-end halo sports car. Click here to read how that could mean a Nissan GT-R-based Infiniti supercar.