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Japan: Infiniti EMERG-E Plug-In Performance Concept Teased Ahead of Geneva

Nissan and its luxury subsidiary, Infiniti, are playing a game with the automotive press called “tease and speculate.” We’ve been hearing about an upcoming luxury electric car from Infiniti since last year, as well as a plug-in performance hybrid. The latest crop of teaser pictures is for the plug-in hybrid, which now has a name; the “EMERG-E.” Will it live up to the hype?

I am hoping so. There have been precious few details regarding just what shape the EMERG-E will take, but now a few are starting to emerge from the obscurity. A 1.2 liter range-extending gas engine will be mounted in the middle of the EMERG-E concept for superior weight distribution, and that in an urban setting the Infiniti will be able to run on pure electricity. Infiniti had previously released these two teaser images of the yet-unnamed car, but without any of these new details.

As far as pure electric driving range goes though, Nissan will only say that the electric driving range is “respectable.” What could be more important, should such a fanciful concept actually make it to dealerships, would be fuel consumption in range-extending mode. A 1.2 liter engine is pretty small, though its main competitor, the Chevy Volt, also uses a small (1.4 liter) range-extending gas engine. The Volt is rated at 37 MPG combined and costs $41,000; could a similarly-priced Infiniti do better than the Volt?

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