Infiniti has admittedly had something of an on-again, off again relationship with the electric vehicle. A LE concept vehicle was debuted back in 2012 to provide 130 horsepower and 240 pounds-feet of torque from an electric motor, but the proposed 2014 production model was later cancelled. Since then, even amidst intense speculation, the manufacturer has kept their EV cards pretty close to their chest.
That is, until now.
We can now confirm that Infiniti will be launching an EV by 2020, and it seems like it might be one worth waiting for. For a start, the Infiniti EV will be developed in partnership with Nissan. Considering just how easily the Nissan Leaf reinvented the EV landscape, they make a pretty good choice for a teammate; in fact, the all-new Leaf set to arrive late this year is expected to boast a 200-mile driving range.
Of course, the Leaf isn’t exactly something you buy for a track-like drive and cool, luxury styling. In fact, we imagine that’s exactly what Infiniti will be bringing to the table. Brand boss Roland Krueger confirmed that a prototype is already up and running, and its high-focused nature has been emphasised.
The vehicle will be built around a standalone platform, giving engineers a chance to work around the unique weight distribution and balance advantages afforded by an EV vehicle. Krueger himself noted that the Infiniti EV would have to maintain the brand’s faultless reputation for performance and handling, commenting that: “We want it to have a unique Infiniti driving experience.”
Krueger even announced that he has already had a ride in the prototype, an experience which he dubbed “very good”. Rather terse praise, admittedly, but at least we can tell that the Infiniti EV is heading in the right direction.
Infiniti is going to have to work hard to produce a competitive model in a world that already contains the Tesla Model S, and the long-awaited Porsche Mission electric sports sedan is set to debut before Infiniti’s 2020 production promise. With their own sterling reputation as a provider of luxury high-performers, plus the wide range of EV technologies they’ll be able to adopt from Nissan, we think that Infiniti might just have a shot.
In any case, we can’t wait to see what kind of EV they come up with by the time 2020 rolls around, and we’ll be keeping our ears very close to the ground to hear more in the meantime.