Infiniti goes retro and it is electric

Infiniti goes retro and it is electric

The Japanese foray into cars came in almost half a century after the first automobile was built. For a brand that is less than 30 years old, vintage has to be earned and Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti has done that in style. Meet the Prototype 9, a design exercise by Infiniti – Nissan’s luxury division.

It started as a concept when the American marketing division asked Infiniti’s design head Alfonso Albaisa what would an Infiniti barn find look like if it had to be a race car hidden away for decades? With contributions from all the major departments at Nissan, the Prototype 9 has turned out everything the Japanese car maker would have ever wanted.

The Prototype 9 is styled like the quintessential ‘30s racer with its wire wheels, skinny tyres and and the enormously long hood. I am sure it reminds you of the Silver Arrows and the Fiat Corsas that went flying around the half-paved racetracks at breakneck speeds. And it is built like it would have been in those days as well. The Prototype 9 gets a hand-beaten aluminium body with the signature boat tail. It even gets the old-school leaf springs and the disc brakes are hidden behind the large drum camouflage.

It is only the signature chrome grille in the front, the breathing gills on the side and the logo up top that reminds you that it is an Infiniti. But that is not the only modern part. It is powered by the new Nissan Leaf electric powertrain that spins 148bhp of power and close to 350Nm of torque. With 0-60kmph in just over five seconds, the top-speed has been limited at 160kmph and it should be quite a handful with that skinny rubber.

Well, the Prototype 9 stirs up some serious want but Infiniti hasn’t said anything about building any more of them. Because if they did, the Prototype 9 would be the perfect mix of vintage racers and modern tech that money could buy, a lot of money!


Nissan to use all-new Leaf’s platform for future electric line-up

Nissan to use all-new Leaf’s platform for future electric line-up

Nissan is all set to reveal the second generation Leaf EV next month. The Leaf has been a pioneering vehicle in the electric scheme of things. The Japanese carmaker will now employ the platform of the new-gen Leaf to spawn new electric models in the coming years. Based on records of a name recently patented by Nissan, one of the first electric vehicles to be based on the Leaf is likely to be called the Terra.

The new Terra EV will be a crossover. The name was first seen on an electric crossover concept called the Nissan TeRRA Concept showcased at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The TeRRA Concept used the first gen Leaf’s powertrain along with a futuristic hydrogen fuel-cell system. The Terra name was trademarked with the Malaysian patents office at the start of this month. The upcoming Terra will share its underpinning with the new Leaf along with its aluminium chassis and the battery packs.

The jacked up Terra will keep a keen eye on the upcoming Tesla Model Y which will serve as an adversary to the Japanese car. Apart from it, European manufacturers like Volkswagen Group, BMW Group and Daimler are leaving no stone unturned in the development of their electric portfolio. Thus, the upcoming Terra will have more than few competitors to look out for.

The Terra crossover will be the first of the many vehicles which will employ the tried and tested Leaf platform in the coming few years. With electrification in full swing these days, Nissan doesn’t want to be left behind compared to the European and American counterparts; given the fact that the original Leaf was the first mainstream electric car back in 2009.

It is unclear when the Japanese carmaker will reveal the production spec electric vehicles. However, expect the new Leaf-based electric vehicles to show up before the turn of the decade.


Maserati cars to adopt electric drive from 2019

OnePlus is all set to launch a new color option for its 5 smartphone. The Chinese company has shared a teaser through its official Weibo account. The image shows the phone’s two exiting color options – black and gray – along with a new, colorless entry. There’s also a caption: “Who is coming?”

So which color it could be? Well, we’ll place our bet on gold, given that the handset’s TENAA listing had revealed a ‘mint gold’ color option, which wasn’t part of the original lineup.

While pricing shouldn’t change, there’s no information on the availability front, although given that the company has officially started building hype, launch shouldn’t be far off.


Mini to launch new fully electric model by 2019

Mini to launch new fully electric model by 2019

BMW is currently working on electrifying all its model series. Over the next few years, the brand will launch a full-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain in addition to the combustion engine option. Additional electrified models will be brought to market and beyond 2020; the company’s next-gen vehicle architecture will be structured in order to enable new models also to be offered as a full-electric vehicle.

As part of this new strategy, BMW has just announced the new battery-electric Mini which will be a variant of the brand’s core 3-door hatch version. This fully electric car will go into production in 2019 at the BMW Group’s e-mobility centre at Dingolfing and Landshut facilities in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Oxford plant which is the main production location for the 3-door hatch.

By 2025, BMW expects electrified vehicles to account for between 15-25 per cent of sales. However, factors such as regulation, incentives and charging infrastructure will play a major role in determining the scale of electrification from market to market. BMW is also working on enabling its production facilities to build models with a combustion engine, plug-in hybrid or fully electric drive train at the same time.