If only the Chinese demanded the Q50 Eau Rouge.
At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Infiniti exec Michael Bartsch talked about how the brand put the kibosh on an electric model. It's fall 2016 and Bartsch is no longer with the automaker, which is now talking about the possibility of building an EV. These comments were made by the brand's president, Roland Krueger, during an interview with Automotive News Europe. What motivated the change of heart? The Chinese market, of course. "When I think about EV, we design it for China definitely, even as the first market to launch," Krueger told AN Europe.
At the moment it doesn't seem like any solid plans are in place, with Krueger saying, "We are discussing this internally constantly what is the right timing for Infiniti to have such vehicles." Nissan's luxury arm has gone all-in on hybrids, this despite the fact that its parent company was one of the first major automakers to wade into the electric car waters with the Leaf. Still, an EV in Infiniti's lineup would be a major step. The brand would need to do much better than the LE concept it brought to Detroit back in 2012. The concept was Leaf-based and looked bloated and boring. That being said the automaker's design language has improved in leaps and bounds since that time four years ago.
If Infiniti is seriously interested in developing an electric car for China ,our money is on a small crossover, say something like the QX30. The Chinese love them some long luxury sedans, but if the battery for Infiniti's EV comes from the Leaf then the automaker will need to get creative when it comes to maximizing its range. A large sedan would kill the battery's max range, but a small crossover would offer a roomy interior and high ride height while being able to cover more miles on a single charge due to its smaller size. If you ask us, the folks over at Renault-Nissan should have a chat with their chums at Daimler about the battery tech Mercedes-Benz has been working on.