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Infiniti Nixes The Emerg-E Hybrid Halo Car


With all the attention Nissan was giving the Infiniti Emerg-E, it seemed that production of the environmentally-aware halo car was all but a given. After all, it was a crowd favorite at this year's Geneva Motor Show, and Red Bull Renault’s Mark Webber drove the one-off concept up the hill at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Infiniti even displayed the Emerg-E atop the Peter Hay Hill, usually reserved for production cars, at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Even in advance of the show in Monterey, California, rumors were circulating that Lotus could be contracted to build both the Emerg-E and the Renault Alpine from its Evora platform.

If you’d gotten your hopes up for that, we’re about to deliver some bad news: as Autocar (via Green Car Reports) documents, the Emerg-E won’t be seeing production by Lotus, Nissan or any other automaker.

In the words of Infiniti head Johan de Nysschen, “The Emerg-E is not planned for future production at all... but it does offer an insight into our future powertrains and design direction.”

If that’s the case, the Emerg-E’s series-hybrid drivetrain could make its way into future Infiniti models, giving the brand middle ground of the extended-range electric car segment. Presumably, an Infiniti extended-range electric would slot in between the Chevrolet Volt and the Fisker Karma in pricing (and quite possibly in performance).

As for the Emerg-E determining the design direction of Nissan, look at Ford’s Evos concept for a similar strategy. It debuted to critical acclaim, yet Ford insisted the Evos would never be built. Instead, it foretold the styling of the new Fusion, as well as (potentially) the 2015 Mustang.

That said, would anyone care what Infiniti named a car that looked as good as the Emerg-E, yet offered up the practicality of an extended-range electric drivetrain? To paraphrase Shakespeare, an Emerg-E by any other name would smell as sweet.

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