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Could Lotus End Up Building The Infiniti Emerg-E And Renault Alpine?


Mark Webber driving the Infiniti Emerg-E at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Mark Webber driving the Infiniti Emerg-E at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed

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It’s no secret that the Infiniti Emerg-E range-extended electric car concept, one of the crowd-pleasers at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, was built on a Lotus Evora platform. Though rivals on paper, Lotus and Infiniti are both working with the UK’s Technology Strategy Board to further the development of eco-friendly technology.

Hence, a collaboration like the Emerg-E makes sense for both parties, and Lotus has a  history of selling platforms to automakers like Tesla and Hennessey. Renault is said to be seeking a partner for the development of its Alpine sports car, so could Lotus be just the match Renault is looking for?

Autocar says yes, and even goes so far as to say that both the Infiniti Emerg-E and the Renault Alpine could be built in Britain by Lotus for the respective sibling brands. As the Emerg-E was primarily developed in the U.K., there’s likely a financial incentive to continue development and production in-country.

Renault’s head of Marketing, Steve Norman, has previously stated that the Alpine will be mid or rear-engined, which means that development of a production version “probably needs more than the Renault-Nissan Alliance on its own.”

The Lotus Evora is a suitable chassis for both vehicles, and platform sharing would reduce development costs for Renault and Nissan. It would also give Lotus much-needed business, even if the projected volumes for both vehicles are low. With that much to gain by both sides, we’d give this particular rumor a bit more credibility than most.
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