Infiniti to showcase the first electric LE concept at Paris Motor Show

Wheels Unplugged31 August 2012
Infinit LE concept
Infinit LE concept

Making its European debut at the Paris Motor Show on September 27 in Hall 1, stand 224, the LE Concept will line up alongside the award-winning Emerg-e sports car concept and M35h production hybrid in a powerful display of “no compromise” performance motoring.

“The Infiniti LE Concept is a ‘production intent’ concept and most of what you see will become a reality,” said Bernard Loire, Vice President of Infiniti Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. “It is too early to confirm exactly when and where it will go on sale, but we are heartened by recent moves to encourage electric cars, such as France raising the purchase incentive from €5000 to €7000 per car. It is fitting that the LE Concept should make its European debut in Paris.” "Infiniti believes the future of luxury lies insustainable luxury and we intend to continue taking a leadership role to achieve it,” added Loire.

Combining driving appeal with zero emissions in a dramatically-styled compact saloon body, the all-electric LE Concept is being shown in Paris with a pledge that a production version will be on sale in selected markets in around two years’ time. The showroom model will not only share the LE Concept’s advanced powertrain but also much of its design character – one that shouts “dynamic luxury” rather than “electric vehicle”. Also in line for production are its highly crafted cabin and user-friendly technology – including the possibility of a ground-breaking wireless recharging system.

An all-new design, the four-door saloon body combines dynamism and elegance with signature Infiniti design cues and the latest Infiniti design language. The proportions are typically well balanced, the high rear deck injecting a sensation of movement. Up front, there’s the expected double-arch grille but here it also features a charging port hidden beneath the illuminated centre Infiniti emblem. The LED headlights and taillights echo the design direction of Infiniti’s recent concepts, as do the crescent-cut rear pillar and strong shoulder line, which express flowing movement. The front spoiler, rear diffuser and side aero fins – all glowing with integrated illumination – contribute to an impressive Cd (drag coefficient) of 0.25.

At around 4.7m long, the LE Concept is a similar size to the Infiniti G Saloon, supporting Infiniti’s belief that zero emissions does not have to mean small. Nor does it mean plain: the cabin is that of a true luxury car, capitalising on the silence of the electric drivetrain to provide a tranquil ride at all speeds. Next-generation instrumentation and connectivity are previewed by the LE Concept, but being an Infiniti, hospitality – evidenced by its soft lighting, excellent visibility and welcoming openness – is just as important. The LE Concept does not compromise either on roominess or comfort. The advanced packaging solution of placing the lithium-ion batteries under the floor not only provides a no-compromise approach to luggage and passenger room, but also contributes to the vehicle’s low centre of gravity, enhancing handling.