DETROIT, MI – The Detroit auto show provided a glimpse into the future for Nissan and Infiniti. In both cases it involves an entirely new, and electric platform.
Infiniti unveiled the QX Inspiration, a concept it described as “the manifestation of our electric ambition.” The QX Inspiration is based on a new modular platform, that will be the basis for eight new vehicles by 2022. Karim Habib the new Executive Design Director, Infiniti, was hired to reinvent the brand. In a private session for Canadian journalists, he described how exciting it is to begin with a blank canvas.
“The QX Inspiration concept has no B-pillars, a flat floor, and a unique roof that filters the light,” the Montreal native said. The battery package can be the floor or base structure of the vehicle. “The length of the vehicle, can thus be determined by the number of batteries.” With no engine, cooling system, transmission or fuel tank, the design possibilities are endless. Habib used the example of the HVAC system. This very large piece of equipment, traditionally occupies the center of the dash, because there is nowhere else to put something that size.
“It can go anywhere in an electric vehicle, freeing up that space. Since there is no need for a transmission tunnel, the floor can be flat, and seats slide side-to-side. There is a lot more space within the length of a vehicle.”
The Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi alliance will unveil eight new vehicles on this new platform by 2022 for sale globally.
Nissan’s future is also electric
It is a similar story as Nissan. It introduced the IMS at the show here, calling it “the complete reinvention of the electric sedan”. The IMS boasts all-wheel-drive, and an electric motor at each end, producing a total of 483-horsepower and 590 lb. ft. of torque.
Here again, with no radiator, engine, transmission, fuel tank etc. designers are free of the packaging restrictions of conventional vehicles. With the battery located under the body, this “elevated sports sedan” has a unique “2+1+2” seating arrangement. The front seats can pivot and the rear offers either three-across seating, or an “indulgent Premier Seat” with the outboard seats folded out of the way.
The Infiniti QX Inspiration, and Nissan IMS are concepts – but reality is not that far away.
After selling more than 380,000 pure electric vehicles, Nissan/Infiniti has a vast fund of knowledge on the subject. It recently introduced a second-generation Leaf with double the range of the original. It expects a range of more than 600 km for these concepts.
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