The luxury fantasy comes complete with lithium ion batteries and Louis Vuitton luggage designed specifically for the Infiniti Essence.
Nissan unveiled the Infiniti Essence concept car at the Geneva International Motor Show on Tuesday signaling its intention to produce the first vehicle to combine hybrid and diesel technologies. The vehicle itself is typical car show eye candy: a sleek high-horsepower turbocharged two-seater that will never go into production.
The luxury fantasy comes complete with lithium ion batteries and Louis Vuitton luggage designed specifically for the Infiniti Essence. (Apparently, Nissan overlooked the need for adequate trunk space in the low-slung performance hybrid—and had to create tailor-made baggage and a roll-out shelf.) Drawing comparisons to the sleek Fisker Karma… such ostentation seems out of touch with tough economic times—until you consider the high-mpg potential of a diesel hybrid.
The combination of a hybrid system, an efficient diesel engine, and an aerodynamic design could make the Toyota Prius seem like a gas-guzzler. In Europe, where diesels represent half of the car market, the idea of diesel-hybrids gets repeatedly paraded out at car shows—but the problem is cost. Hybrids are more expensive than conventional cars. Diesels are also more expensive. And a diesel-hybrid adds cost upon cost beyond practicality.
A Nissan spokeswoman told Reuters: “Customers willing to pay for a diesel hybrid would be in the luxury segment.” She said Nissan plans to launch a production version of the car with a V6 diesel hybrid system. The company gave no indication of the car’s price or any timetable for production.