Infiniti Essence unveiled at the Geneva motor show 2009

Published: 03 March 2009

This is the Infiniti Essence, a petrol-electric rear-wheel-drive coupe with 592bhp. It’s a concept, built to celebrate Infiniti’s 20th anniversary, but also to preview the company’s future design themes and environmentally friendly technologies, both of which will be essential if the badge is to conquer the UK market later this year.

How is the Infiniti Essence environmentally friendly with nearly 600bhp?

It’s not, but the petrol-electric drivetrain is a glimpse of Infiniti’s future power units. In urban areas the Essence can run on electric power only, but the motor can also help boost the 434bhp twin-turbo 3.7-litre V6.

Talk me around the Essence

It’s a front-engined, two-seat luxury coupe - think of it as a BMW 6-series rival. Basically, it’s a big GT, that Infiniti claims is
‘capable of vast speeds where conditions allow, zero emissions where they don’t’, and because you’re bound to be carrying luggage when you go continent crossing, they’ve thrown in a bespoke Louis Vuitton luggage set.

‘Essence is a brand icon,’ says Francois Bancon, general manager of advanced product planning at Infiniti. ‘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.’

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy