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Infiniti ETHEREA Concept - Geneva Auto Show

By KBB.com Editors on March 8, 2011 4:47 PM
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Making its first public appearance in Geneva, the Infiniti ETHEREA Concept is intended to evolve the brand away from established convention. Toru Saito, Corporate Vice President and Leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit characterizes the bold one-off as "a new type of luxury for younger buyers. It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car."

Depending on where you look, the ETHEREA's eclectic exterior design encompasses cues that could be associated with a coupe, sedan, hatchback and crossover bookended with bold headlamp/taillamp treatments. It also incorporates a distinctive crescent-shaped C-pillar previewed on the earlier Essence Concept and destined to become a signature element of future Infiniti production models. Nearly 15 inches shorter than a an Infiniti G-Series -- and barely four inches longer than a Nissan Versa -- the ETHEREA has an extremely space-efficient four-place cabin configuration that provides exceptional room for passengers and their gear. Access to the aft quarters is made easier by rear-hinged doors and the absence of a B-pillar

Power for the front-drive Infiniti ETHEREA Concept comes from hybrid system that has yet to be fully detailed. We do know the its prime motivation will be from a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 245 horses and is connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). A smaller electric motor also is in the mix to provide additional punch for passing as well as far zero-emission pure EV transit at low speeds for limited ranges.

Infiniti also used its press conference to announce that it had entered into an sponsorship agreement with the Red Bull Racing Renault team, the reigning Formula One champions. In commenting on the new deal, Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President, Infiniti said: "Over the mid-term, Infiniti will be simultaneously expanding its global presence and broadening its product range. Given these twin ambitions, it is clear that Formula One offers us an unrivalled global communications platform, complementing Infiniti's ethos of Inspired Performance. We are excited to have the opportunity to enter Formula One together with a world-class team like Red Bull Racing Renault."

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