Driving Electric with Coulter INFINITI


Electric cars have frequently been associated with luxury. They seem as scarce as bottles of rare wine, show off forms created by top designers, propel forward with the advanced engineering of a spacecraft, and possess the extravagant pricing of private yachts.

So it should come as little surprise that a premium automaker like INFINITI wants to enter this fast-growing market. The company has released two revelations about its electrified driving future.

Stepping on the Gas

Gas-powered electric vehicles may seem a contradiction in terms until you discover that INFINITI advances a sound strategy. Such propulsion avoids power ports and plugs by relying on a 1.5-liter three-cylinder to generate the electricity needed for charging the batteries and running on the road. The engine never drives the wheels directly.

Such engineering does not require a large battery: a pack ranging from 3.5 to 5.1 kilowatt-hours will suffice. Two motors, one handling each axle, provide either 248 and 429 horsepower, depending on the model, with a 0-60 rush in as little as 4.5 seconds. Carbon emissions go down as mileage goes up. The maximum driving range is estimated at 500 miles from one fill-up.

The battery pack will be mounted under the floor for a low center of gravity. The multiple small motors provide all-wheel drive and increase interior space. An upscale sedan is the most likely choice for a gas-powered electric, although the company has not released a launch date.

Plugging into Power

Infiniti’s all-electric effort arrives in the QX Inspiration, which at this point impresses as more of a design idea than actual technology.

Engineering hints put the high-capacity battery pack below the floor of the vehicle. An electric motor at each end allows for all-wheel drive and excellent acceleration. Handling will be precise since the dual-engine setup can also distribute on-demand power to the wheel that requires it.

As with the gas-powered EV, the position of the motors allows for greater cabin room. Increasing the interior space are the shorter hood and rear overhang. That space will be mostly empty to follow the Japanese concept of ma, which holds negative areas to be as important as the filled parts of an artwork. Passengers can then enjoy a “lounge-like” experience that adheres to omotenashi, a principle of hospitality that means to wholeheartedly look after guests.

Premium materials adorn the interior. Covering the steering wheel and walls are brown and white leathers as wells as grey cloth typically used to upholster high-quality furniture. Suede, accented by gold, lines the floor. In the rear, quilted leather seating accommodates two passengers, who can contemplate a marble-topped center console that sprouts a metal vase to hold blossoms.

When sunlight flows through the transparent ceiling, the grillwork casts intricate shadows on the interior. At night, ambient lights calm the environment with the colors that evoke springtime in the Land of the Rising Sun.

In front, a color screen stretches across the dashboard to display operational info and camera views. More important data can illuminate the second screen in the middle of the steering wheel. Yet a third screen glows from the one end of the center console.

When self-driving technology allows for a hand-free approach to the highway, the brake and throttle pedals can descend as the steering wheel folds down. To make entering and exiting easier, the front seats rotate by up to 30 degrees.

The bold exterior is devoid of unnecessary detail save for sculpted lines that help the car slip through the wind. In the front, smooth surfaces replace the grille and feature channels that divert air around the body. On the sides, the doors open from the center to enhance the spaciousness. The etching pattern on the headlamp duplicates a similar design on the see-through roof. Peaking directly above the front row, the roofline descends into the aerodynamic Kammtail rear.

What to Do Now

If you’re as excited about Infiniti’s foray into an electrifying future, please sign up for our email list. We’ll keep you updated on any developments as soon as we receive them. You’ll be eligible to test drive any new vehicles as soon as they arrive. Better yet, stop by Coulter INFINITI today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions in person, give you brochures, and demonstrate the latest automotive technologies.