Six ways in which Infiniti’s famous concept car trilogy influenced the Q50
Headlights (Etherea, 2011)
The Q50’s distinctive headlights have changed little since they first previewed on Etherea. With that concept as with the Q50, the lights are very much the car’s “eyes”. Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director, says: “The lights allow us to define the Infiniti face more clearly than ever, providing a unique visual signature, day or night.” The light clusters incorporate daytime running lights formed out of a crescent of LEDs, a motif mirrored at the back where the lights are tautly stretched around the car in a way reminiscent of Essence.
Crescent-cut C-pillar (Essence, 2009)
One of Essence’s most distinctive design cues, the crescent-cut C-pillar is used on the Q50 in its purest and most powerful form yet, injecting dynamism into the profile and ensuring the mid-size saloon will always be instantly recognisable. Alfonso Albaisa says: “Since Essence we have known this design of C-pillar was going to play an important role in future Infiniti production cars.”
Three-dimensional double-arch grille (Essence 2009 and Emerg-E, 2012)
The Infiniti double-arch grille – the top span representing the profile of a typical Japanese bridge, the lower span its reflection in the water – has long been an important part of the Infiniti “face”. For the Q50, this grille takes on a more 3-dimensional look with more gravity and depth following the lead set by the design of the Essence concept with its distinctive, highly crafted steel mesh finish. The Q50’s appearance is further strengthened by the grille visually connecting to the base of the A-pillars.
Deep body section (Essence, 2009)
With its deep and steep body section the new Infiniti Q50 has some of the most complex surfaces of any car in its class. It is the result of inheriting design influences successfully advanced with Essence, whose wave-like body sections make the big luxury coupe’s styling so dramatically advanced and effective. For the Q50 the results are just as effective, with the car benefiting from particularly powerful shoulders.
Asymmetrical cabin layout (Essence, 2009, and Emerg-E, 2012)
A driver focus in the cabin is an important part of any Infiniti – as is a welcoming and relaxing front passenger compartment. Essence, and later Emerg-E, managed to achieve both in the same car with a novel Yin-Yang approach, and it is this which the Infiniti Q50 brings into the showroom in production form. The result is an asymmetrical front compartment of two distinct areas, delineated by a line that curves elegantly across the centre console.
Interior finishes (Essence, Etherea and Emerg-E)
Modern interpretations of Japan’s rich arts and crafts tradition are part of the appeal of Infiniti concept cars. They are far more to Infiniti than mere decoration, however. They are integral to who Infiniti is and what it stands for. As such many have a direct influence on the Q50, such as the aluminium inlays whose textures are based on intricate woven patterns.
About the Infiniti Q50
The Infiniti Q50 is the newest and most individual entrant in the mid-size premium class to compete against rivals such as the Audi A4 and BMW Three Series. Designed to appeal to both the heart and the head, the Infiniti Q50 marries the brand’s flowing, concept-car design themes with a welcoming cabin inspired by both high technology and traditional craftsmanship. The four-door, rear- or four-wheel drive saloon is available with a choice of two low CO2, high-performance engines: a 170PS, 400Nm 2.2-litre diesel (115g/km and 4.5 l/100km, 63mpg*), and a 360PS 3.5-litre hybrid (140g/km and 6.0 l/100km, 47mpg*). Depending on market, the Infiniti Q50 goes on sale from autumn 2013.
* CO2 and fuel consumption figures to be confirmed
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Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in approximately 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan and the United States. Production in China and Europe will start soon along with the expansion of the brand’s portfolio.
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