Infiniti ETHEREA introduced in Geneva

Infiniti ETHEREA

Infiniti ETHEREA

Infiniti introduces compact supercharged 4-cylinder front drive Hybrid

Ya gotta love those “eyes”.

Infiniti ETHEREA headlightsWe don’t know if the production version will offer the glowing grill, but we like the look with the glowing Infiniti logo floating above the grill.

The ETHEREA (and yes… we are getting really tired of Nissan/Infiniti naming their cars in all caps) moves Infiniti into all new territory. In the United States compact and luxury are not usually stated in the same breath, yet the ETHEREA is only 14 feet long. Propelled by a supercharged 2.5 cylinder four-cylinder gasoline engine of 245 horsepower, ETHEREA will also be able to call upon a Nissan developed hybrid drive that will utilize battery power and an electric motor to improve efficiency. Similar to the system introduced on the Infiniti M35H this parallel hybrid system will allow for motoring on the electric drive system in mixed driving for as much as 50% of the time. The M35H offers a net 360 horsepower with 29 miles per gallon combined city/highway fuel efficiency. One might expect somewhat higher fuel economy numbers with the ETHEREA due to its smaller size and lesser power (and likely less weight). The transmission between the internal combustion engine (ICE) and the wheels will be Nissan’s continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The ETHEREA’s taillights mimic the aggressive look of the bad boy headlights.

Infiniti ETHEREA rearIn our view, while the car looks lean and cat-like from the front, the rear takes on mis-matched proportions. Looked at from the side, we are wishing for a longer, lower look. We think the front starts out okay, then they just doodled around until someone said stop and this is what came out. Maybe this is one of those vehicles that just looks better in real life than in pictures. The concept offers seating for four with rear-hinged rear doors and no B-pillar between the doors.

Infiniti ETHEREA side view

Stylistic preferences aside, Nissan/Infiniti is moving aggressively into the electric and hybrid-drive world. Nissan’s tepid approach to their previously existing hybrid vehicles (using Toyota’s hybrid drive technology) is moving aside as Nissan’s own engineering team takes the reins. We look forward to the introduction of the first all electric Infiniti.

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