An inside source has revealed that Infiniti is developing a plug-in hybrid, which will possibly be based on its Q80 Inspiration Concept.
Unveiled in 2014 at the Paris Auto Show, the Q80 Inspiration Concept is a full-sized four door that rejects the conventional sedan profile in exchange for a fastback rear end. Hinges on the rear doors are mounted at the back and there’s no B-pillar, leaving the full length of the cabin exposed when the front and rear doors are open.
With 550 horsepower from its 3.0-liter V6 and hybrid electric powertrain, Infiniti’s concept offers more power than the Mercedes S500 plug-in hybrid and the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid plug-in. These models were named by the source as the two targets for the new plug-in.
When it debuted, Infiniti called the Q80 Inspiration Concept its “first foray into the upper echelons of the premium sedan category.” The prototype was appropriately outfitted with features typical of the luxury class, such as seat-mounted touchscreens for both rear passengers and some self-driving systems. But, said Infiniti, maintaining an element of simplicity was key to the design.
“There is a tendency with modern design that every time you add interior features and technology you add complexity,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. “The idea with Q80 Inspiration was to re-define and simplify how we interact with people in the car. Of course the Q80 Inspiration has the key features which are premium, smart and engaging, but simplicity was our main objective.”
A production version of the concept would probably emerge in between 2017 and 2019, Infiniti noted last year. The company has said very little of the Q80 Inspiration since then, and hasn’t verified if it will be built as a plug-in hybrid.