A big week for Nissan in Detroit

Nissan e-NV200

Nissan e-NV200 Concept electric vehicle

North American International Auto Show to see several Nissan debuts

This week is a big week for the automobile industry as the annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicks off in Detroit. With the slow economy of the last few of years, Nissan corporation has taken a lower profile and actually elected to not have a presence at some major auto shows, including Detroit for the past three years. This year Nissan is not only back, but they will debut the new Nissan e-NV200 Concept electric vehicle pictured above along side the 2013 Pathfinder – an all-new platform for the 2013 model year.

We have written about the electric NV200 before. Using the LEAF drivetrain it is expected to offer similar range and power. The NV200 is a five-passenger vehicle, with plenty of cargo room though it is expected to see more use in commercial applications (think flower shop delivery vehicle) than personal use minivan. A 2 minute, 39 second video of the e-NV200 Concept may be seen here. With a LEAF inspired front-end design, the concept looks slightly less industrial than the current NV200. Of course, that also may just mean that we are getting used to the front end design of the LEAF.

Infiniti ETHEREA

Infiniti ETHEREA

Infiniti will be there with their entire line-up, and will offer the US debut of the Infiniti ETHEREA Concept – a hybrid drivetrain that might hint of a future Altima hybrid powertrain. We offered this write-up of the ETHEREA with its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show last March. The ETHEREA  is smaller than it might appear, at just 14 feet in length. The ETHEREA offers a supercharged 245-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. Think more hybrid than plug-in hybrid, but for those in need of range exceeding current electric vehicles, but with an eye toward the environment, that could be a vehicle worth considering. The current Nissan Altima is Consumer Report’s best pick in a mid-sized family sedan. A hybrid powertrain such as this under the hood could make for an exciting family sedan – if one can actually call a family sedan exciting. A 2 minute, 21 second video of the ETHEREA concept can be viewed here. If nothing else makes it into production, we hope these wicked cool headlights do. While the taillights mimic the headlights, we think those “eyes” are sweet.

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