Widely expected to preview Infiniti’s first production electric car, the undeniably good-looking Q Inspiration concept reveals a refreshing new design language but not the battery technology that is now dominating rivals’ concepts. Despite parent Nissan releasing the first mainstream electric car, the Leaf, in 2010, Infiniti remains the sole premium car-maker yet to play its electric-car hand.
“While we have plans to electrify our product portfolio in the future, drivers all around the world are still reliant on internal combustion engines for their transport needs,” said Infiniti product chief François Bancon at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit where the Q Inspiration is having its world debut.
As you might imagine of a technology “disrupter” like Infiniti the engine at the heart of the Q Inspiration is not your regular petrol-powered lump.
Under the bonnet is the firm’s VC-Turbo engine, what’s claimed to be the first variable-compression engine. A holy grail for car makers for decades, variable compression aims to combine turbocharged petrol power with the torque and efficiency of a hybrid or diesel engine.