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Besides being an aggressive, sexy, powerful two-seater hybrid, the Essence is what Infiniti calls a "brand icon ... (it's) dedicated to Infiniti brand promotion, to demonstrate and advocate the Infiniti unique values," according to Francois Bancon, general manager advanced product planning.
There is much attention to detail on the Essence exterior, from the side windows that appear to be sitting on a ledge, to the aluminum trim used around the air vents (based on the "kanzashi", a hairpin used by women when wearing the kimono) to other lines and details that are inspired by the wide brush strokes of Japanese calligraphy.
Infiniti made sure to keep the rest of the exterior as clean as possible. Besides subtle strips of stainless still framing the grille, there’s little other trim and no other grilles or intakes, not even foglights. Door handles are nothing more than small push buttons that sit flush with the body of the car, and instead of rear view mirrors, small cameras on the A-pillars are used.
Inside the Essence, the focus is very much on the driver. The two seats are separated by a large, curving console that's tilted toward the driver, effectively splitting them into two 'cocoons' - the driver's bathed in black, the passenger's in red.
The driver is treated to a bright red start button, alloy-topped gear selector, and flat-bottomed steering wheel. That wheel includes large paddle shifters, while an analog clock can be found at the top of the dash. Infiniti says that it went out of its way not to overburden the driver with controls and buttons, allowing him or her to focus on the driving experience.
Materials used in the Essence include leather, Alcantara, and hand-painted wood. Even the leather seams on the seat backs differ from the left side to the right side to accurately reflect the way Japanese men and women tie their kimonos.
The Essence marks the first auto show preview of Infiniti's gas/electric hybrid system. The concept vehicle is a full hybrid, able to run on electric-only power at low speeds, such as when starting from a red light or coasting on the highway. When power is needed, a 3.7-litre direct-injection V6 engine can get the rear-wheel drive Essence moving in a hurry. Combined with the electric motor, the Essence produces 592-bhp. The vehicle uses a new disc-shaped electric motor - called 3D Motor - that Infiniti says has twice the amount of torque as a conventional unit (it produces 158-bhp).
In terms of safety, the Essence completes Infiniti's 'Safety Shield' technology. To go with its Distance Control Assist (DCA) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) systems, the Essence gets Side Collision Prevention (SCP) and Back-up Collision Prevention (BCP) to protect occupants from all sides of the vehicle. Both SCP and BCP use sensors to control the braking of individual wheels if a vehicle is detected either beside or behind the car.
Further proof of just how luxurious this vehicle is, Infiniti has partnered with Louis Vuitton to provide custom luggage that exactly fits the trunk of the Essence.
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Check out the Infiniti Essence wallpapers and Infiniti Essence Pictures (pics) collection below: