>> Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Nissan’s luxury brand looks to the future as it celebrates 20 years in style.
BY MARK GILLIES
This swoopy luxury sports coupe, which looks like a cross between an Aston Martin DBS and a Fisker Karma S, was ostensibly built by Infiniti to celebrate 20 years of the brand's existence. Based on the FM platform that underpins the G37 coupe and sedan, the FX crossover, and the M35/45 sedan, the striking Essence previews Nissan's forthcoming hybrid drivetrains, as well as Infiniti’s future design thinking.
At 186 inches long and 77 inches wide, it's a big car, and sits on suitably outrageous 22-inch wheels and tires. Despite its physical size, it seats just two people. Under the hood, there's a direct-injected, twin-turbocharged version of the 3.7-liter VQ V-6 that makes 434 hp, which is mated with an electric motor that generates 158 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, for a combined output of 592 hp in “power assist” mode. Now that’s our kind of green thinking.
Keep Reading: Infiniti Essence Concept - Auto Shows