INFINITI ushers in the era of electrification

Nov 8, 2019

INFINITI’s future models will offer drivers a choice of electrified powertrains as the brand embraces new technology to propel its vehicles.

These include fully-electric systems, as well as a gas-generated EV system (known as e-POWER at Nissan) in which a gasoline engine generates electrical power stored in a battery, which can then be delivered to all four wheels through a pair of high-output electric motors. These powertrains will be matched with dedicated platforms and vehicle architectures, delivering the high performance, range confidence and reduce environmental impact that buyers are coming to expect from premium car manufacturers.

To illustrate the brand’s powertrain development direction, INFINITI has revealed a trio of concept cars in recent years: the Q Inspiration, Qs Inspiration and QX Inspiration. Emblematic of INFINITI’s plans, these three concepts call on forward-looking technology and daring design to reflect the brand’s ethos. Electrification is a natural next step for the company and presents an opportunity for INFINITI to redefine its brand through high-performance, low-emissions models that offer a thrilling yet serene driving experience, and total range confidence.

The fully-electric and gas-generated EV powertrain options will be matched with dedicated platforms and vehicle architectures under INFINITI’s new ‘two powertrains, one platform’ approach to model development. This will see the creation of platforms which can accommodate both types of powertrain, with a high level of commonality between each.

Delivering battery power to a high-performance e-AWD (electric all-wheel drive) system, the platforms of all INFINITI’s future electrified cars will be engineered to accommodate a pair of high-output electric motors – one on the front axle, one on the rear. For electric vehicles, the space between the two axles will house a high-capacity battery pack, while gas-generated EV models will feature a significantly smaller battery pack, accompanied by a fuel tank and exhaust system connected to a front-mounted VC-Turbo gasoline generator that powers the battery pack. For all models, drive will be provided solely by electric motors.

Electrification doesn’t just represent a powertrain revolution for INFINITI, but an evolution in design too. INFINITI design will adopt a new form language for the era of electrification. Dubbed ‘powerful serenity’, this will manifest itself in cars that look progressive, serene and powerful, embodying electrified performance. The result is an incredibly expressive design, with expansive, muscular surfaces and clear, concise lines inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Unshackled from the need to accommodate an internal combustion engine as the principal means of propulsion, the physical proportions of future INFINITI vehicles can be transformed. Engineers have more freedom configuring the mechanical layout of the car, with motor-driven wheels eliminating the need for drive shafts that intrude on cabin space in a conventional car.

As vehicle proportions evolve, so too will the design details. Signaling the nature of new electric or electrified powertrains, INFINITI is adopting a new ‘Powerful Serenity’ form language for the era of electrification. Inspired by recent concepts such as the QX Inspiration and Qs Inspiration, future INFINITI models will look as progressive, seamless and powerful as their electrified powertrains. This form language will be infused with Japanese DNA, drawing upon the culture and modern architecture of INFINITI’s home country.

The era of electrification will therefore enable INFINITI designers to adapt the proportions of future vehicles and create more spacious, lounge-like cabins. The brand’s new ‘powerful serenity’ form language will give these cars a memorable visual identity – inside and out.

The brand’s designers took inspiration from the Japanese spatial concept of ‘Ma’, described as an emptiness full of possibilities, potential and anticipation. Applied to INFINITI’s upcoming electric vehicles, designs will emphasise the smooth, muscular spaces between the sharp, sheer lines of the bodywork, building visual anticipation for the electrified performance within. What happens between these lines is truly expressive; empty spaces which carry the loudest message. Utilising the ‘Ma’ philosophy will ensure all future INFINITI cars feature svelte, graceful and uncluttered designs. Further Japanese influences will include body surfaces and creases inspired by origami, the Japanese art of folding paper, and technical ‘kimono fold’ patterns, inspired by the straight lines that typify modern Japanese architecture.

For 30 years INFINITI has built a reputation for adopting new technologies that give confidence to drivers, with designs that harness and give aesthetic expression to these innovations. As INFINITI looks to the future, the age of electrification presents an opportunity for the brand to lead car design into a new, eye-catching era.

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