Infiniti Emerg-E Concept - 2012 Geneva Auto Show

One of many high-profile reveals in Geneva, the Infiniti Emerg-E Concept takes the luxury division to a new level in the sustainable performance arena. The boldly contoured bodywork on this low-slung mid-engine/rear-drive two-seat super coupe is made from lightweight carbon fiber and provides "a fresh expression" of the division's design language. Infiniti says the Emerg-E Concept also is tangible proof that it's serious about producing a halo car that will live up to the firm's  "Inspired Performance" mantra and that its range-extended EV powertrain represents the kind of sustainable technology that it plans to introduce in its future vehicles.

Motivation for the Infiniti Emerg-E Concept comes from a pair of electric motors -- one at each rear wheel - that crank out a combined 402 horsepower. Energized by a compact lithium-ion battery pack, they can propel this sleek speedster from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and carry it to a top speed in excess of 130 mph. When the battery's 30 miles of pure EV range have been depleted, a Lotus-designed, mid-ship-mounted 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine kicks in to generate electricity on the fly, allowing the Emerg-E to carry on for another 270 miles before requiring a plug-in recharge/refill.

Even Infiniti admits there's still a long way to go before anything like the Emerg-E Concept turns up in the showroom. However, it's encouraging to see the automaker take this first impressive step towards exploring the real-world potential that lies within a package of this kind. The next move will come later this year when two fully-operational prototypes are slated to begin evaluation testing.

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