Infiniti is calling its latest release a product renaissance, and it needs it now more than ever – something to capture the public’s attention and regain some of the market share it has lost over the years.
As a luxury carmaker, Infiniti has fallen out of the spotlight with a range of aging products that have failed to gain traction with consumers, caught behind the rest of the world as it surges towards electric propulsion. It’s no secret: Infiniti badly needs to get into the EV space, and it has revealed a concept it hopes will get it there.
In a refreshing reversal of the crossover trend, the first concept being unveiled – the Infiniti Vision Qe – is a sleek and futuristic electric sedan about the size of a Tesla Model S in concept form. Yes, there will be an electric crossover too called, unsurprisingly, the Vision Qxe but that one isn’t being revealed yet.
A return to Infiniti’s “Artistry in Motion” design philosophy
“We want to shift the language. We want to show the Japanese [concept of] ma, or the mastery of the empty space, so the car has very little character lines; it’s super simple. This is Infiniti for sure,” says Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President of Global Design.
“With this [Vision Qe] we want to strike something new. In the front there’s this extravagant character, even though there’s almost nothing there, but the [lighting] signatures are defining all of the character, and the rear is how the wind wants the shape to end: very clean but still with a lot of shape,” says Albaisa.
The front and rear lighting elements take inspiration from piano keys. There’s a redesigned Infiniti logo, and the front lighting extends down into the front bumper forming a modern rendition of Infiniti’s double-arch grille. The lighting signatures glow in gold or white, and will undergo an animated lighting sequence when walking up to the car with the key fob in hand. The sedan’s proportions are wide and low with “sensual” lines as Albaisa puts it and gorgeous fluidic body panels that flow into a sleek fastback shape. It’s a large, striking sedan with a visual flair generally reserved for concept vehicles.
But Albaisa insists that this is the future of the brand: “You can hold me to it. The [design] language is something that we’re very serious about. We have full intentions to develop this. Even the ones that are not sedans will have this sensual language. It’s not only the future but it gives us the sense that ‘Oh, that’s an Infiniti,’ even though it doesn’t look like an FX, or a G coupe.”
Don’t expect elements like the absence of door handles, the frameless windows, and those gorgeous machined wheels – which are inspired by the coils in an electric motor – to make it to the final product. That’s just the reality of production cars. But if this is indeed a preview of Infiniti’s first EV, fans of the brand have a lot to be excited about.
“We didn’t want to make another G sedan, which I love, by the way. We want people to feel the artistry, that shock, when Infiniti brought out the Q45 for the first time. People were a bit surprised about the shape of the car, surprised that the Japanese were making an eight-cylinder with 32 valves, people couldn’t get their head around that,” says Albaisa. “We wanted that feeling again, for people to see the artistry of Infiniti, to see something new.”
Infiniti’s first EV will be produced in Canton, Mississippi, with no official reveal date announced at the time of writing.