Inifiniti Etherea reimagines compact-sized luxury



I previously discussed the Etherea Concept by Infiniti, but was underwhelmed by the (glamour) pics provided so I'm leading this post with the video, which does the car justice. Now that Etherea has been shown in Geneva, a little more info has surfaced. First and foremost, the Etherea has a chance at production in some form. Some of the elements are probably not cost effective (like the grille glow lights), but the overall look is spot-on and the C-pillar design may become part of Infiniti's new design language. Etherea uses a 2.5-liter turbo four that produces 245 hp by itself. There is also a hybrid/battery-electric drive for even more performance and efficiency. Remember the Etherea would be Infiniti's entry luxury vehicle. The Etherea is a five-door hatchback but has elements that make the car look more like a "swoopy" four-door. The name would probably change to some alpha-numeric name like E25 H or something like that. It would make a nice addition to the automotive landscape.

Source: Infiniti - Press Release after the jump. Previous post.

Press Release:
Infiniti ETHEREA: The Compact Luxury Car Re-imagined

The Infiniti ETHEREA, a special concept vehicle designed to preview how a future Infiniti entry-level compact performance luxury sedan could look, made its world debut today at the 81st International Geneva Motor Show. ETHEREA is designed to project both an “evolving Infiniti identity” and a profile that is distinctly different from any current vehicle available in the premium compact class.

“ETHEREA is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers,” said Toru Saito, Corporate Vice President and leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit. “It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car.”

Designed under the direction of Senior Vice President of Design Shiro Nakamura, ETHEREA blends elements of coupe, sedan, hatchback and even crossover designs in one highly sculptural, near-mono volume form.

At just over 14 feet in length, ETHEREA is highly compact but at the same time it is space efficient and practical – thanks to a new mechanical layout and innovative access arrangements. Among its surprises are new high-tech interpretations of traditional Japanese materials and finishes, and several design cues set to make their mark on future production models, including the highly distinctive crescent-shaped C-pillar first seen on the Infiniti Essence concept.

ETHEREA’s segment-busting appeal is based on the coming together of several vehicles styles. It is part elegant coupe, part spacious sedan, part practical hatchback and even part tall crossover. And being an Infiniti, there is also a large helping of sports car in the way it drives. The front-wheel drive ETHEREA concept has been designed for a potent yet highly efficient hybrid drivetrain based around the innovative one electric motor/twin clutch system used in the new Infiniti M Hybrid.

A supercharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, developing 245 horsepower, provides quick response and strong acceleration throughout the performance range. Boosting power when more is needed, and providing silent, emission-free driving at low speeds, is an electric motor. The transmission is a continuously variable (CVT) type. An independent suspension, regenerative braking and advanced drive-by-wire electric/hydraulic steering further enhance performance.

The spacious four-seat ETHEREA cabin offers all the luxury that Infiniti owners expect, plus unrivalled ease of access and egress boosted by an H-point, which is higher than that of the average compact luxury car. Four wide-opening doors, rear-hinged at the back, and an absence of B-pillar offer an unprecedented feeling of openness.

As an exploration of a future entry-level Infiniti production model, ETHEREA can be summed up as a four-door coupe with five-door practicality – a hatchback that doesn’t look like a hatchback.

About Infiniti
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, M sedan, EX and FX crossovers, and the QX full-size SUV. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at www.InfinitiUSA.com.