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First Look: 2011 Infiniti M

Finding the Essence of the brand.

by on Aug.16, 2009

The 2011 Infiniti M prototype bears the unmistakable imprint of the automaker's well-regarded Essence concept vehicle.

The 2011 Infiniti M prototype bears the unmistakable imprint of the automaker's well-regarded Essence concept vehicle.

It’s often said that the most successful automakers are those who understand the fundamental essence of their brands.  At least, that’s what Infiniti is counting on as it translates its Essence concept vehicle into its flagship sedan, an all-new version of the M sedan.

The curvaceous Essence made its first appearance, earlier this year, at the Geneva Motor Show.  Stuck in a back corner of the sprawling PAL Expo center, it might have been easily overlooked, considering more than 50 other cars, concepts and crossover vehicles were launched during the annual European car show.  But word-of-mouth quickly spread, and by the time the show wrapped up, the Infiniti prototype was generally regarded as one of the event’s most significant debuts.

“It’s not easy translating a concept vehicle into a production car,” cautions Shiro Nakamura, global design director for Nissan Motor Co., Infiniti’s Japanese parent.

Capture the essence of the day's news!

Capture the essence of the day's news!

And there’s no question that some of the exaggerated lines of the prototype coupe have had to be toned down, while the new M gets an extra pair of doors.  In production, the M will be a bit longer, notably wider and, as one executive puts it, “more planted” than the concept.

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