2011 Infiniti Etherea Concept

2011 Infiniti Etherea Concept

Over the past decade, the luxury car market has changed dramatically. Sure, there's still an emphasis on leather this, wood that, and spun-aluminum the other. But there's also a philosophy that less is sometimes more. It applies not just to fuel economy, although hybrids and diesels have become luxury status symbols in their own right, but also to the actual size of the cars themselves. Take for example the introduction of small cars from luxury makers, such as the BMW 1-Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, and the Lexus CT 200h.

Infiniti will soon get into the luxury compact car game, and its concept for what it will look like is the Etherea, which will debut at the Geneva auto show on March 1.

The Etherea's body straddles a line somewhere between a hatchback, coupe and crossover, with four doors, a long high-looking roof and a rounded tail. It's an interesting look, and a little less out-there than the Essence concept that Infiniti showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show late last year. One element that works well, at least in my opinion, is the shape of the C-pillar. It's distinctive, but it also integrates into the overall design of the Etherea quite nicely, instead of standing out as a WTF design move.

Few details were released along with the photos, except to say that the overall length is 4.4 meters, or about 14.4 feet, and that it is space-efficient thanks to a "new mechanical layout and innovative access arrangements." 

More info will undoubtedly become available as the show approaches, but for now, what do you think? Sound off in comments below!