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Former Audi Chief de Nysschen Sets Out to Reshape Infiniti

My goal is "unlock the potential of the brand," says new CEO.

by on Aug.22, 2012

Infiniti's new CEO, Johan de Nysschen will have the chance to completely reshape the brand.

More than two decades after its well-publicized debut, Infiniti remains a brand without a clear identity or well-defined mission.  But all that could soon change.

The Nissan luxury brand has moved its headquarters from Japan to Hong Kong and hired on long-time Audi executive Johan de Nysschen as it new global chief executive.  His challenge at Infiniti is not unlike what he faced at Audi, says the South African-born de Nysschen, taking an also-ran automaker and turning it a serious, top-tier contender.

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“My goal is to unlock the potential of this brand,” de Nysschen told TheDetroitBureau.com during an interview in Pebble Beach, California prior to the annual Concours d’Elegance.  “One of the things I bring to the table,” he added, “is I’m willing to challenge” the established order.

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Infiniti Cutting the Cord With Wireless Charging on LE Battery Car

Luxury alternative to Nissan Leaf due in 2014, maker reveals.

by on Aug.20, 2012

The Infiniti Emerg-E concept battery car makes it North American debut in Pebble Beach.

Infiniti will bring its first battery-electric luxury car to market sometime in 2014, the maker confirmed, with the prototype introducing a new charging system that will no longer require an owner to plug it into a wall charger.

In fact, the Infiniti LE will be able to park itself in precisely the right spot over the new induction charging system’s special mat, an executive told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Meanwhile, the maker continues to study whether to add a second, even more sporty battery-car model to its line-up, one that would be based on the well-received Infiniti Emerg-E concept vehicle that made its splashy debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.

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Can Luxury Concept Help Infiniti Emerg-E from the Shadows?

Striking supercar-like design a standout in Geneva.

by on Mar.07, 2012

Infiniti's Emerg-E concept car is getting plenty of attention in Geneva.

It’s barely five years since Infiniti belatedly made its entrance in the crowded European luxury market, and gaining traction hasn’t been easy, company officials acknowledge – which is why they’ve made a point of bringing some eye-catching concepts to the annual Geneva Motor Show.

What global design chief Shiro Nakamura dubbed the “third part of the Infiniti trilogy” is now on display and takes the Nissan luxury brand to a new extreme.  Following on the original Essence and the more recent Etherea, the Infiniti Emerg-E concept provides a glimpse at what the maker might do if it were to push into supercar territory.

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But not just a conventional challenger to an establishment dominated by the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini, but one using a high-performance, battery-based drivetrain.

The heart of the striking 2-door is a plug-in driveline that can make 400 horsepower – enough to launch from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds.  But with a little less aggressive use of the throttle, Emerg-E will deliver up to 30 miles on lithium-ion battery power alone.  Once the gasoline engine kicks in, it will get a total of 300 miles before having to recharge or refuel.

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First Look: Infiniti Emerg-E

Shows battery cars can be Sex-E.

by on Feb.27, 2012

The Infiniti Emerg-E uses a mid-mounted range-extending drivetrain.

Who says battery cars have to be dull to downright boring? True, the Toyota Prius and Mitsubishi i likely won’t win design awards but the new Infiniti Emerg-E suggests that battery cars can be downright Sex-E.

The Infiniti concept is the latest in a string of concepts and production cars coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month that have already leaked out.

The luxury arm of Nissan Motor Co. has been hinting for some time that it plans to follow its bigger sibling and enter the electric vehicle market.  Exactly what role the Emerg-E will actually have in the Infiniti line-up remains to be seen but it’s certainly going to draw some attention with looks that are more than a little reminiscent of the new McLaren MP4-12C.

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But instead of a 600-horsepower small-block V-8, the Infiniti Emerg-E features a range-extended electric drivetrain.  Details are set to follow but if you look closely at the images here you’ll notice the mid-mounted gasoline engine side of that powertrain is clearly visible beneath the show car’s all-glass roof.

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