Infiniti to Become the Electrified Brand for Nissan

All Infiniti models after 2021 will be electrified with the exception of large SUVs in a bid to differentiate the luxury brand from the mainstream Nissan brand, Hiroto Saikawa, CEO of Nissan Motor Company, said at an automotive conference in Detroit.

“We are now trying to make Infiniti the premium brand and highly electrified brand,” Saikawa said at the Automotive News World Congress held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show, where Infiniti showed the Q Inspiration concept with a short hood because it does not need to house a large engine bay.

The man who replaced Carlos Ghosn was short on details but said the automaker is pursuing a two-prong electric strategy. All vehicles will either be pure electric or will have “e-power” which means there will be a gasoline engine that will help power the generator but will not be used to actually propel the vehicle. The engine serves as a generator for the battery while electric motors power the vehicle.

It means nearly all new Infiniti models introduced after 2021 will be electrified and by 2025 half of Infiniti models will have some form of electrification, Saikawa said. The brand will launch its first all-electric vehicle in 2021, as well.

Infiniti is also investing heavily in gasoline engines with the introduction of the VC Turbo which is the first variable-compression ratio engine that gives the gas engine the torque and efficiency of a hybrid or diesel. The advanced powertrain is debuting in the 2019 QX50.

Saikawa wants more automakers to invest heavily in electric vehicles, which will encourage consumers to embrace them. The Nissan brand has been a leader with the Leaf, now in its second generation.

Nissan has kicked off their six-year business plan to 2022, in which it expects to be near full potential in the second half of the plan.

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