This is the Infinit Etherea, unveiled today at the 2011 Geneva motor show, and the company is unusually candid about the purpose of this new, smaller Infiniti show car. The blurb says: ‘it is a compact luxury model that previews how a future entry-level Infiniti could look.’ Says it all really.
Infiniti Etherea: the lowdown
The compact vehicle is aimed at the younger buyer looking for a little luxury – it’s all about downsizing. It has a blend of coupe, sedan, hatchback, and even hints of crossover design in some areas. There’s a hint of the Essence concept design visible in the crescent-shaped kinked C-pillar too. This is one design detail that’ll percolate through to production cars in the near future. Inside there’s a big touchscreen with an iPhone-style scrolling function, and under the bonnet is a hybrid powertrain, with a supercharged 2.5-litre four-pot mated to an electric motor.
‘Etherea is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers,’ said Toru Saito, corporate vice president and leader of the global Infiniti business unit. ‘It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car.’
How big is the new small Infiniti?
At 4.4m long, the Etherea concept car is smaller than previous Infinitis offered in Europe and about on par with the likes of the BMW 1-series and Audi A3. The concept is built on the same Nissan-Renault’s global C-platform that sits beneath the Qashqai, and CAR understands that the raised crossover styling of the Etherea is one of three designs under consideration for the new small car at Infiniti HQ. Infinti is also readying a small electric saloon based on the Nissan Leaf (though with more performance and a longer range) so the Etherea definitely won’t be a three-box saloon like that EV. It won’t be Golf clone either; the company knows it must build something different to stand out.
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