Internal combustion is so last year.
Japanese luxury marque Infiniti is making strong moves towards ‘Mobility 2.0,’ intending to phase out internal-combustion gradually from 2021, according to comments from boss Roland Krueger. The company, the luxury division within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, is working on a new platform that will forward this vision, and will represent a paradigm shift for the brand, something it’ll need to stay relevant.
While Infiniti is a relatively-new player in the luxury segment, it doesn’t enjoy the same tech- and innovation-heavy drive the way stalwarts like Mercedes-Benz and Audi do. Only recently did the company start making headway in the form of their variable-compression turbocharged motors, which despite the focus on electric motivation, will live on in a slightly different application.
The new platform that Krueger spoke of is one that’s been designed with electric propulsion at its core, though it’s being engineered to also accept an internal combustion mill up-front to act as a generator. As such, the fully-electric models that are due for launch post-2021 will be complemented by REEVs, with the latter likely to be more appealing in markets where charging infrastructure might not yet be where it needs to be to service consumers. They’ll also go some way in convincing people to make the move to electric mobility, as an on-board generator does wonders to allay range anxiety.
In an interview with Automotive News, Kruger also let slip some technical details. The EV platform could see fitment of enough hardware to provide up to 300kW of power, or a more important 500km of range on a single charge. And that’s 500km on the fully-electric model, meaning the range-extender will (naturally) offer a greater cruising range. Anyone want to talk about a cross-country drive now?
Some sacrifices will have to be made as Infiniti progresses towards electric mobility though. The EV platform that they’re developing will be scalable enough to underpin every model in Infiniti’s existing range, though it won’t be flexible enough to accommodate the enormous QX80. We’d normally say that’s a shame, but really, it won’t be missed much.