Electric cars benefits and disadvantages remain a point of endless debate among car people, but one thing that's been missing from most is a sense of beauty. Infiniti, Nissan's luxury brand, will change that with an all-electric luxury sedan that will look much like this when it arrives two years from now.
Dubbed the LE concept at the New York Auto Show, the sedan pairs the underpinnings of the Nissan Leaf electric hatchback with a slinky body and upscale interior. Infiniti executives vow that unlike several previous electric Infiniti concepts, most of what's visible in the LE will glide from an unspecified factory, with Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn saying its 85% of the production version.
The internals of the Leaf have been bolstered, with the LE sporting 134 hp and 240 ft-lbs of torque, a jump from the Leaf's 110 hp/207 ft-lbs. output. The LE also features three separate charging ports, including a wireless connection under its rear bumper. With the same 24 kWh battery pack as the Leaf, its range should also run about 100 miles on a full charge. Given the Leaf snaps up to 60 mph in 7 seconds, the LE should be a tick or two faster.
Inside, Infiniti uses a wave of blue LED lights to surround a flowing cabin that's far softer than the Leaf's somewhat spartan look. Infiniti didn't release pricing or say how many it expected to build; the company's sold 11,000 Leafs in the United States last year, but Ghosn has plans to expand to 100,000 in a few years. If the price can keep the LE attractive, the design could settle the arguments over electric transportation for a few buyers.