April 2, 2012
Defining Design at Infiniti
Q1) Why is this new EMERG-E concept car a true Infiniti vehicle?
Shiro Nakamura, SVP:
This car for us is the third show car we have introduced here in Geneva. Maybe you remember Essence 3 years ago. Two years ago we brought Etherea. This time we introduce EMERG-E. All start with ‘E’, coincidentally. These three designs have a story.
Infiniti Essence is the start of a new design direction for Infiniti and is translated into what’s coming for new products. For example, JX just started production in the U.S. and a new G is coming very soon. All the new Infiniti lineup has design that started from Essence. Essence has a very strong impact on our new lineup. And Etherea, as you know, is a very small front wheel drive car. Another important product for us is an entry-size Infiniti coming in a couple of years.
While we have no plans to bring this to production, this car – design-wise – is consolidating the new direction and you can see we have a very sculptured shape and a very nice flow from the front grill to the rear fender. These are the characteristics and you can see a very nice concave, complex surface harmonized together with our shape, and also a side view – we say crescent-cut C-pillar, which is a crescent-cut shape. This is an icon for Infiniti. You can see a lot of items – and what you can see here is going to be applied to many new production models.
Q2) What were the challenges designing this concept?
This is the really first time to design a mid-ship for us. Even at our main brand Nissan we don’t have a mid-ship. So really, for us, it is the first challenge – how you can make the car an Infiniti, even though it not a front wheel drive. And you know Essence is the same as FX – it is a typical Infiniti proportion. But this is a completely different proportion.
How do we make it look like an Infiniti? This is the challenge and I hope you see it looks very much like an Infiniti. For us, it’s not necessarily one, single proportion, but what we wanted to do we validated how Infiniti design language is working in a very different package.
Q3) What was the role of Nissan Design Centre in this concept?
This is a collaboration between 3 studios. The original design came from San Diego, one designer, he is actually a young, talented guy, created the first design and we brought that design into Japan and we made a scale model and then we brought it to the UK and every designer went to the UK and they worked together. He is Filipino American, and we have a Dutch designer working on the interior, and an English designer, as well.
It is a really global, cosmopolitan team working in the UK. Finally, NDE is the place to finish everything. And we worked together with a company in the UK for components and making a prototype. So, it is really our global team working together.