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Infiniti’s First Electric Car to Debut at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Sadly, it's not the Prototype 9

At this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Infiniti surprised us all with the incredible Prototype 9 concept. It’s styled to look like a vintage 1930s grand prix racer, but under the sheetmetal, it gets the powertrain from the redesigned Nissan Leaf. So not only is it fantastically gorgeous, it’s also electric.

The sad news is that Infiniti won’t put the Prototype 9 into production, but if you can wait until 2019, you will be able to buy an electric Infiniti.

Speaking with AutoCar, Alfonsa Albaisa, Infiniti’s head of design, said the Japanese luxury automaker will launch an electric car of its own in 2019. But we’ll get our first look at the concept version at the Detroit Auto Show this January.

He didn’t give many hints about what the concept would look like, but he did say it would use “parts of the [Prototype 9] in a difference context.” Albaisa also confirmed that Infiniti’s new electric car will ride on its own platform instead of sharing one with the Nissan Leaf.

Back in 2012, Infiniti showed off the LE concept, a Nissan Leaf wearing much more attractive sheetmetal. But if the new car won’t share a platform with the Leaf, it probably won’t draw inspiration from the LE.

Perhaps that means the gorgeous Emerg-E concept isn’t as dead as its five-year absence might suggest. Sure, that car was a hybrid, but just look at it. Even half a decade later, it still looks fantastic.

Regardless, keep an eye out for the concept’s reveal ahead of the Detroit auto show this January.

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