Infiniti Emerg-e

4 Jan, 2013 11:00am Mike Duff

The Infiniti Emerg-e points the way for future green sports cars, with 449bhp and instant torque

Verdict

4
The Lotus platform means the Emerg-e handles brilliantly. This great car is a real indication of how good future electric sports cars such as the BMW i8 could be. It’s just a shame it’s going to live in a museum rather than the showroom.

If the Infiniti Emerg-e is anything to go by, there is a bright future yet for economical but stunning sports cars. And this is the proof - we've driven the petrol-electric concept car that wowed this year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Sadly, Infiniti won’t be putting the Emerg-e into production. Instead, the model is designed to show off the company’s vision of a future where cars can be both green and fun.

We were encouraged to drive it hard and experience the full effect of 449bhp and a four-second 0-60mph time. The powertrain was co-developed with Lotus (although the design is all Infiniti’s), and underneath it’s based closely on the Evora 414e.

Two electric motors, one for each rear wheel, are powered by a battery pack. And a small three-cylinder petrol engine acts as a generator, which recharges the batteries.

Initial progress is all-electric, and power is instantaneous. Then, with a push of the throttle, the petrol engine bursts into noisy life to help out the battery pack. Development work didn’t include noise reduction, so it's far from refined. But it’s certainly effective: with the motors whirring away, the Emerg-e feels just as quick as Infiniti claims.

Key specs

  • Price: N/A
  • Engine: 2 x 150kW electric motors, 3cyl 47bhp petrol ‘range extender’
  • Transmission: Single speed, rwd
  • Power: 449bhp (total, combined)
  • Torque: 500Nm from 1rpm
  • 0-62mph: 4.0 seconds
  • Top speed: 134mph
  • Economy: N/A/55g/km
  • On sale: N/A
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