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by Adam Lynton
The extent of Infiniti’s relationship with Lotus is closer than previously thought.
The Emerg-E range-extended electric sports car concept from Infiniti was one of the stars of the Geneva Motor Show, making headlines
for its striking design. While its exterior may be elegantly unique, according to Car and Driver the Infiniti Emerg-E rides on the same platform underpinning the Lotus Evora. Infiniti decided to develop the concept in Europe to take advantage of funding available from the UK's Technology Strategy Board.
This is a government agency that aims to advance the development of vehicular technology that reduces carbon emissions. The organization's membership is made up of various universities, research firms, suppliers and, you guessed it, Lotus. Like the Evora 414E Hybrid concept, built back in 2010 with the agency's assistance, the Infiniti Emerg-E is powered by two electric motors that drive the rear wheels independently via a single-speed transmission. The range-extender comes in the form of a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine, and 0-60mph has been quoted at a Porsche 911 rivaling 4.1 seconds.
In joining forces with the agency, the cost of developing the concept was kept low. Not only that, but since most of the components are already in production form, if Infiniti gave the green light on the car, with executives already hinting at such a possibility, the Emerg-E could be built with relative ease. Infiniti will test a number of prototypes on the road in Europe and the US this summer and if all goes well, expect to see the car enter production within the next couple of years.