The first electric car for Nissan Motor’s premium brand Infiniti is going to be a sporty sedan produced in China, the Japanese automaker stated ahead of a public announcement.
The vehicle would hit the market in about three years, and consumers would experience it when the company reveals a concept car, dubbed the Qs Inspiration electric sedan, at the Shanghai auto show later this week, Nissan stated.
“China has the most growth potential for electric vehicles globally, especially in the premium segment,” Infiniti Chairman Christian Meunier stated according to Reuters.
Automakers working in China have to sell more so-called new-energy vehicles, either battery electric vehicles or plug-in electric hybrids, to comply with official production quotas designed to decrease smog.
It was not clear right away whether Infiniti planned to produce its first electric vehicle in other markets. An Infiniti spokesman stated, however, the brand did not aim to export the e-sedan from China.
The planned e-sedan is part of Infiniti’s longer-term strategy to mainly “electrify” its product lineup.
Brand officials have stated that from 2021 every Infiniti model released will be either an all-electric car or so-called “e-Power” hybrids, underscoring Nissan’s previously announced strategy to make Infiniti primarily an electrified offering.
The e-sedan likely would be constructed on a new flexible architecture developed particularly to accommodate electrified powertrains, Infiniti stated.
Its design, especially the interior, would be majorly different to present models, design chief Karim Habib stated. EVs do not have bulky gasoline engines and transmissions, opening up space within the car.
“It will have a flat floor, and if you are a passenger you can cross your legs or stretch out your legs,” Habib informed Reuters.
Competition in China’s emerging electric auto market is heating up amid an onslaught of models from startups including Nio and WM Motor, as well as those from major automakers.
In the luxury sector, Infiniti will be rivaling with the top-selling Model S and Model X by Tesla Inc, along with other models due to be released in coming months by Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.