Nissan is ahead of the game again with plans to release the first ever mass-marketed electric luxury sedan in 2014. The company's luxury division, Infiniti, unveiled the Infiniti LE model at the 2012 New York Auto Show. The car has many of the qualities of a high-end luxury vehicle, albeit with zero emissions and innovative green technology.
Sleek Aerodynamic Design
Infiniti designed the LE with the idea that "zero emission does not have to be small" in mind. The car is 186.4 inches long, a significant increase from the usual hatchback models on the market, and more in line with the company's G37 Sedan. The LE also features a sleek aerodynamic design, with flowing lines reminiscent of a Japanese kimono. The double arch-grille, rear pillar with a crescent cut, and blue LED lights flowing from front to back, are signature design elements that give the LE a much cleaner, more modern look than EV models from years past. Moreover, the aluminum alloy wheels, rear aero diffuser, and front, side, and rear spoilers ensure that this model will get the most out of every mile.
Advanced EV Power and Technology
The Infiniti LE will use a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery to power the electric motor that can run at 134 horsepower with 240 pounds feet of torque. Infiniti estimates that the vehicle will be able to get 100 miles of range. While this is a slight improvement over their earlier model, the Nissan Leaf, the innovative charging technology is really what shoots this car to the top of its game. The battery can be charged with a wireless charging port, which uses a charging pad in the garage to juice up the car. The charging pad uses inductive energy flow and a magnetic field to activate an electric current in the battery of the car. This makes charging convenient, cable-free, and safe. Alternatively, LE owners can use the quick charger, which can be plugged into the front grille of the car under the Infiniti emblem.
Like all the vehicles in the Infiniti line, the main focus is on luxury, comfort, and convenience. The LE does not fail here, with a roomy interior featuring suede seats with mesh fabric covers and leather trim. The twin-screen display system will have Internet access, a navigation system, a feature that automatically pinpoints charging stations, Nissan's Intelligent Park Assist, and Infiniti's exclusive 24-hour Personal Assistant concierge service. In addition, drivers can program the twin display system to pre-heat or pre-cool the interior of the car at designated times. All these features attest to Infiniti's claim that they wanted the LE to be a luxury sedan before an electric car.
With models like the Infiniti LE in production, the future is looking bright for electric cars. Although the boxy, unsightly electric cars of yesteryear are not extinct yet, companies like Nissan remind us that going green does not have to mean sacrificing style and comfort.
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