(from Infiniti Press
Release) Infiniti LE Concept – A Vision of Zero Emission
Luxury Revealed at New York International Auto Show
The Infiniti LE Concept, which makes its world debut at the 2012 New
York International Auto Show, is more than just the latest in the
series of dramatically styled, technologically advanced concepts
from Infiniti. Though sharing much with the stunning futuristic
Infiniti concepts that have come before – a sweeping aerodynamic
body, an elegantly intelligent interior, inspired driving
performance and advanced next-generation technology – the Infiniti
LE Concept is more grounded in reality. A production version is
expected to reach Infiniti showrooms in near-similar form within the
next two years as Infiniti’s first zero emission luxury sedan.
"In a future that holds an increasing consumption of natural
resources, we will advance our sustainable mobility leadership and
expand our EV market penetration with new electric vehicles such as
the Infiniti LE Concept," said Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn.
"Infiniti is well positioned to deliver the objectives for a
sustainable future, relying on our capable, hard-working and
motivated team members around the world. We are a challenger."
Among the key features and innovations of the Infiniti LE Concept
• Luxury sedan
style, combining signature Infiniti design cues with EV
• Exceptional acceleration and re-acceleration, providing a new
level of luxury driving experience
• Leading-edge compact Lithium-ion battery technology
• Smart hospitality, featuring a quiet, luxurious Infiniti
interior and next-gen Infiniti • • Connection, Infiniti Personal
Assistant and EV connected services
• Innovative, intuitive home-based Wireless Charging System with
Intelligent Park Assist
"As a ‘production
intent’ concept, most of what you see in the LE Concept will become
a reality, including its zero emission powertrain, advanced
telematics, cutting-edge design, advanced connected services and
premium appointments," said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben
Poore. "Infiniti believes the future of luxury is sustainable luxury
and we intend to continue taking a leadership role, building on the
foundation set by our advanced Infiniti M Hybrid and high-mpg
Infiniti JX luxury crossover."
First and Foremost an Infiniti
From inception, the LE
Concept has been designed as a pure Infiniti, rather than as an
electric vehicle with luxury appointments. The vehicle is also
substantial in form – about the same overall length as an Infiniti G
Sedan – supporting Infiniti’s belief that zero emission does not
have to mean small. The Infiniti LE Concept does not compromise
either roominess or comfort, which is why it starts with an advanced
luxury-styled sedan body, not a converted hatchback.
"The LE Concept’s bold exterior is defined by its underlying high
performance. It is first and foremost an Infiniti, born of our
philosophy of Inspired Performance. Rather than taking an EV and
adding an Infiniti badge, we are taking an Infiniti and removing the
tailpipe," explained Poore. "Infiniti is all about challenging
convention, which this vehicle does – proving that luxury at the
next level can be both gorgeous and zero emission."
The LE Concept’s dramatic exterior blends distinctive Infiniti
design cues, such as its double-arch grille and crescent-cut
rear-pillar, with EV aerodynamic efficiency to create a sleek,
emotional silhouette. The strong shoulder line, which directs the
eye from front to rear, expresses a dynamic, elegant flowing
movement. The beautifully balanced proportions represent an
efficient dynamic form as a new definition of luxury.
A number of design features contribute to the coefficient of drag of
0.25, which aids driving range, including the aluminum-alloy wheels
with aero treatment, the high rear deck, rear aero diffuser and aero
side fin spoilers with integrated illumination. The large front
grille features a solid finisher and a charge port hidden under the
illuminated center Infiniti emblem. The deep-skirted front fascia
includes an aero fin spoiler with illumination. The iconic Infiniti
LED headlights and taillights echo the design direction of
Infiniti’s recent Infiniti Essence and EMERG-E concepts.
Special illumination located under the rear diffuser illustrates the
positioning of the wireless charger. The already dramatic exterior
is accentuated by blue LED lighting that flows around the lower
panels. Distinctive Infiniti EV Blue paint is adopted to enhance the
sense of Infiniti EV-ness on the door handles and wheels.
"The LE Concept exterior is shaped to maximize its aerodynamic
efficiency, yet it doesn’t scream ‘electric vehicle.’ The design
priorities are on visibility, hospitality and utility – and, of
course, Infiniti-ness," said Poore. "The same can be said of the
interior, which takes advantage of the low-noise drivetrain to
provide the tranquil quietness of a living room, though one that
offers far more exhilaration and mobility."
The Infiniti LE Concept’s efficient EV platform maximizes interior
space by placing the batteries under the passenger compartment
floor. This positioning helps provide a low vehicle center of
gravity for enhanced handling and maximizes trunk room, without
compromising front or rear seat passenger legroom or comfort. Beyond
its advanced packaging, the real beauty of the interior design is
its "smart hospitality" – combining a luxurious Infiniti environment
with next-generation instrumentation, driver interface and
The LE Concept interior is anchored by its Infiniti signature
double-wave layout, which flows seamlessly from instrument panel to
the center console and down the cabin sides – embracing driver and
passengers in a generous, energetic space. The double-wave design is
highlighted by special soft LED Infiniti EV Blue lighting that flows
in two waves from front to back, while the center console forms a
strong anchor line that penetrates the interior space. The center
console finisher adds a touch of EV-ness though use of a "Hamon"
(ripple) design. A sculpted shift knob comfortably controls the LE
Concept’s drive system.
Infiniti-EV meters combine modern digital display and timeless
analog gauges, creating an atmosphere of both exclusivity and
futuristic design. The center cluster features an innovative
connected twin display powered by an Intel Atom™ processor. The twin
display will offer Infiniti LE drivers access to the kinds of
information that EV drivers will appreciate such as a dynamic range
calculator that will use onboard and cloud based data. As the public
charging station network expands, the on-board database will be kept
current. And on compatible charger networks, the driver will be able
to confirm real time charger availability.
The elegant, bolstered seat and door trim design also comes from
traditional roots, inspired by the "Eriashi" (collar) of a Japanese
kimono. The seats are covered in a suede-and-mesh fabric with violet
accents, and semi-aniline leather sides. The unique interior color
combination of blush violet for upper portions and light white for
lower also reinforces the vehicle’s Infiniti EV-ness.
"Today’s luxury EV intenders expect their EV to be a luxury vehicle
first, with advanced technology, cutting-edge design and premium
appointments," said Poore. "The Infiniti LE Concept delivers in
every dimension, welcoming driver and passenger as guests, much as
you’d expect in the owners’ homes."
An Engaging Driving Experience
As a fusion of
hospitality and Inspired Performance, the Infiniti LE Concept is
designed to stimulate, not sedate. Targeting "impressive EV
acceleration without sacrificing the range," the engineering team
behind the LE Concept’s e-powertrain sought a silent, smooth
response for both accelerating from a start and re-accelerating,
such as merging onto freeways or changing lanes. Torque of 240 lb-ft
is instantly available immediately at all times. The Infiniti LE
Concept’s battery system is a proven laminated 24 kWh lithium-ion
(Li-ion) design with a ChaDeMo DC50kW quick charger.
"A luxury car for a new generation of sustainable luxury buyers must
not compromise on performance. Buyers want ‘green,’ but won’t settle
for any aspect of the driving experience being less than that of
their current luxury vehicles," explained Poore. "For those who have
never driven a modern EV, the immediate full-torque response when
you step on the accelerator is amazing. It empowers you, without
overpowering you – though the temptation is always there to leave
drivers in the next lane behind."
A smooth, comfortable ride is provided by the e-platform’s high body
stiffness (with rigid-mounted battery frame), front independent
strut/rear torsion beam suspension with double-piston shock
absorbers. Handling is enhanced by the low noise, vibration and
harshness e-powertrain, along with the low center of gravity and
concentration of vehicle weight in the center of the vehicle
Customizable Connected System,
Home Wireless Charging
The Infiniti LE
Concept’s connectivity to the outside world includes the next
generation of Infiniti Connection features, such as Infiniti
Personal Assistant 24-hour concierge service, navigation, and POI
The IT system, which includes a large twin display, is easy to
operate. The twin display offers drivers all of the information they
want, displayed in the right place. The system can also be used to
pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle at pre-set times, synchronize with
web calendars and search for local charging stations. The system
will be capable of reserving charging stations at public venues such
as malls or ballparks (once the appropriate infrastructure is in
"These advanced connectivity features and services will help
mitigate range and charging concerns among new sustainable luxury
buyers," said Poore. "Along with no trade-offs for luxury
performance or hospitality, we believe that sustainable luxury
should be intuitive, not intrusive."
In terms of charging, the Infiniti LE Concept is equipped to utilize
an integrated charging port, a DC Fast Charge option and an advanced
Wireless Charging System.
"In keeping with the Infiniti challenger mentality, the LE Concept
includes a built-in Wireless Charging System, which we expect to be
the first home-based wireless charging system if adapted for the
production version," said Poore. "All you have to do is park your
vehicle over the charging pad with no need to connect cables."
The system’s non-contact charging is via inductive energy flow, with
a coil safely encased on the garage floor. The primary coil is
connected to the energy source, which then creates a magnetic field
that excites electric current in a second coil in the LE Concept.
The high-frequency charging, controlled by the twin display or
smartphone, is safe for children and pets and can be installed
easily in a home garage.
In addition, taking inspired technology a step beyond, the Infiniti
LE Concept features an Intelligent Park Assist with Around View™
Monitor to easily align the vehicle in the proper position over the
wireless charging coil. The system uses e-steering, with full
forward and backward capability, along with a 360-degree view of the
It also bookmarks the parking place in GPS so that once the vehicle
enters the garage, for example, the navigation system will
automatically switch to Around View™ Monitor and the system is ready
to park the car.
"With the Wireless Charging and Intelligent Park Assist, there are
no cables, no maintenance and no concern about the perfect alignment
of vehicle and charger," said Poore. "So, on top of no longer having
to pump gas, you will no longer have to connect charging cables."
Becoming a Reality
"For those who wonder
how a zero emission vehicle like the Infiniti LE Concept will fit
into their lifestyles, the answer is simple: perfectly. With a range
of current and future stainable vehicles faithful to the Infiniti
promise of Inspired Performance, Infiniti is well positioned for the
growing demand for clean, efficient and exciting vehicles,"
concluded Ghosn. "In a rapidly changing world, Infiniti is well
ahead of the game."