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Nissan's Geneva show stopper

2009-03-04 13:03
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Nissan
Model Infiniti Essence
Engine 3.7l, V6 twin-turbo hybrid
Power 320kW (116kW hybrid)
Nissan’s design maverick, Shiro Nakamura, has usurped Europe’s best at the Geneva auto show with his Infiniti Essence coupe concept.

Nakamura’s design brief was to merge all existing Infiniti design cues with fresh design language.

Can’t say we see a strong Infiniti QX56 correlation. Some G37 heritage perhaps (Essence features a traditional front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout), yet it’s of very little consequence considering the outlandish surface symmetry and near proportional perfection Nakamura has attained.

With the Essence Nakamura has essentially stolen the show stopper award from a host of Europe’s best designers in their own backyard. Best of all is the high level of production ready bits contained in the Essence concept – the drivetrain works, the interior is ergonomically sound.

Hybrid twin-turbo power

Essence is powered by a parallel hybrid drivetrain, featuring 320kW, twin-turbo power based on the 370Z V6 engine architecture, augmented by an electric motor generating 116kW. These power units can drive individually or as a combined source delivering nearly 450kW, with a lithium-ion battery pack storing the electric power.

Imagine you are a Geneva based Swiss watchmaker, walking the Palexpo venue during lunchtime, when you decide to casually poke your head inside the Essence for a peek - at this. You would put down a deposit right there, wouldn't you?

The Interior design features an exquisitely detailed environment trimmed in leather, Alcantara and classic hardwood surfaces. The driver and passenger are each accommodated within individually coloured cabin areas, driver’s side being black, whilst the passenger lounges in a red trim environment.

Instrumentation is an evocative blend of chronometer type dials (we’re sure Swiss watchmakers visiting the show will be impressed no end) and contemporary digitisation. The Aluminium dial accents and drive select knob (Essence has shift paddles behind the steering wheel too) are deftly finished.

We'll forgive Nissan for the contrived Louis Vuitton custom luggage set, considering how near perfect the rest of the Essence styling execution is.

Safe, stylish traveling

Advanced safety technologies include distance control assist, lane departure prevention, side collision prevention and back-up collision prevention.

Adding credence to the notion of Infiniti Essence cueing a future destined more for the showroom instead of museum floor, is the bespoke three-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set. Each piece engraved with its Essence owner’s initials.

Infiniti has promised the market a hybrid vehicle for sale by next year. They could essentially do not better than a crash safety homologated version of this...


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