Infiniti Launching Production EV Based on Q Inspiration Concept for China

New platform will be used for all future battery-electric models.

by on Apr.23, 2018

Infiniti President Roland Krueger shows off the Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept that is the basis for the new EV.

Infiniti plans to add a new all-electric platform “influenced” by the exotic Q Inspiration Concept that was first shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

The new platform will be able to accommodate both a pure battery-electric drivetrain and a range-extender system similar to the technology used in competitor BMW’s i3 Rex, Infiniti President Roland Krueger announced ahead of the Beijing Motor Show where the Q Inspiration will make its Asian debut. The new platform will be used for at least one of the five new vehicles Infiniti plans to begin producing in China during the next five years.

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While Krueger isn’t saying how close that all-electric model will be to the well-reviewed Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept, he did note, “We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space.”

Infiniti has a long history of rolling out exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. The name of the Detroit show car suggested it was envisioned as the long-awaited successor to the original Q45 sedan that first put the brand on the map.

“Experimenting with new proportions in a typically conservative segment, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body,” Karim Habib, the newly named Infiniti executive design director, said about the concept earlier this year. “We aim to take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution.”

The Infiniti Q Inspiration EV concept makes its debut at the Beijing Motor Show.

(Infiniti unleashes two limited SUVs for NYIAS. Click Here for the story.)

Habib noted that the Inspiration is designed to use a “less intrusive” powertrain. That would be in line with the approach most manufacturers are now taking with electric propulsion, mounting their batteries below the load floor and their motors on the axles. That approach frees up space normally dedicated to the engine compartment, allowing a more roomy passenger compartment. One of the first examples of that approach can be seen in the form of Jaguar’s new I-Pace battery-electric SUV, which will reach showrooms later this year.

Infiniti, however, is being vague with timing, saying only that it will launch a vehicle based on the new, electrified platform “within the next five years.”

Whether it will take that long is far from certain, however, in part considering the rapid pace with which its competitors now plan to bring various forms of electrified vehicles to market. Mercedes-Benz, for example, intends to launch an entirely new electric sub-brand, Mercedes-EQ, by 2020.

(Click Here for details about Infiniti’s electrification plans.)

The new Infiniti concept is an electric vehicle that may serve as the base for a slew of new offerings.

“Infiniti will have a specific focus on electrification,” Hiroto Saikawa, CEO of parent Nissan Motor Co., said in January, adding that, “We are trying to position Infiniti as the premier electrified brand” as part of the five-year Nissan business plan that will extend through 2022.

He declared that Infiniti will go “all-electric,” though that changeover will take some time, the marque expecting half of its sales in key markets, notably including China, will come from battery-based vehicles. That’s no surprise considering the government there recently enacted stiff new zero-emissions rules.

The new Q-inspired platform will be able to use several different drivetrain configurations capable of delivering over 400 horsepower. That includes a multi-motor all-electric system, as well as a range-extending system pairing an electric motor with a small four-cylinder gas engine up front, and one or two engines in the rear, according to Senior Development Director Francois Bancon.

(Infiniti Inspired: But what to make of the new Q Inspiration Concept. Click Here for the story.)

The gas engine would serve as a generator to power the motors or help recharge a drained battery. It will utilize Infiniti’s newly developed variable-compression technology which can instantly adjust the compression ratio depending upon driving demands. That can help deliver better performance, as well as improved mileage and reduced emissions.

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