Infiniti Essence-based Model to Debut in 2010

Joshua Duval
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Nissan's luxury brand is making waves over in Europe at the 2009 Geneva motor show, and it has no plans to slow down its gathering momentum.

It started with the unveiling of the gorgeous Infiniti Essence concept. The 2-seater rwd coupe is a gorgeous exercise in Japanese design, with a turbocharged V-6 gasoline hybrid system pumping out 600 horsepower to match its show-stopping sheetmetal. Then, we discovered that Infiniti has plans to hybridize its entire lineup, starting with the M sedan next September. And now, Automotive News is reporting that a model based on the Essence concept will emerge by 2010.

A Nissan spokeswoman said Nissan will adapt the concept for production in the European market next year. The big news: Infiniti will forgo the gas-electric hybrid setup in the Essence for a diesel-electric hybrid system. No price range was given for the model, but the spokeswoman said that "Customers willing to pay for a diesel hybrid would be in the luxury segment."

In theory, a diesel electric hybrid would be more fuel-efficient than a gas-electric hybrid equivalent. Infiniti already has plans to launch a V-6 diesel engine in its European crossovers next year, so that's probably the engine we can expect to see in the Essence adaptation. Infiniti's diesel hybrid would be one of the first of its kind.

The German-aspiring Japanese luxury brand is forging ahead into new territory with its newfound commitment to hybrids-and finally differentiating itself from its competitors. We just hope the Essence-based model keeps some of those sexy curves.

Source: Automotive News

KaBoomBOX
While I like the idea of the rumor, it kind of goes against what was reported yesterday,"Sadly, the Essence stands no chance of being produced. Francois Bancon, General Manager Advanced Product Planning, said "Essence is a brand icon... 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." While the Essence itself may not enter production, we do expect the design cues to filter down to actual production vehicles."It seems to me that if they were testing the waters to see if reaction to a model like this was good enough to warrant production, they'd have just said so.

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