Infiniti unveils production-intent electric LE Concept with wireless charging; production version expected within two years
|LE Concept. Click to enlarge.|
Infiniti unveiled the LE Concept battery-electric vehicle at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. A production version is expected to reach Infiniti showrooms in near-similar form within the next two years as Infiniti’s first all-electric luxury sedan.
The powertrain of the LE Concept includes a 100 kW synchronous electric motor that delivers 240 lb-ft (325 N·m) of torque; a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery packing comprising 192 cells; a single-speed reducer with shift-by-wire drive selector with an ECO drive pattern; an on-board CHAdeMO DC 50 kW quick charger; and support for a wireless charging system with Park Assist. Estimated range is 100 miles.
In keeping with the Infiniti challenger mentality, the LE Concept includes a built-in Wireless Charging System, which we expect to be the first home-based wireless charging system if adapted for the production version. All you have to do is park your vehicle over the charging pad with no need to connect cables.—Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore
The system’s non-contact charging is via inductive energy flow, with a coil encased on the garage floor. The primary coil is connected to the energy source, which then creates a magnetic field that excites electric current in a second coil in the LE Concept. The high-frequency charging, controlled by the twin display or smartphone can be installed easily in a home garage.
In addition, the Infiniti LE Concept features an Intelligent Park Assist with Around View Monitor to easily align the vehicle in the proper position over the wireless charging coil. The system uses e-steering, with full forward and backward capability, along with a 360-degree view of the surrounding area.
It also bookmarks the parking place in GPS so that once the vehicle enters the garage, for example, the navigation system will automatically switch to Around View Monitor and the system is ready to park the car.
The battery pack of the front-wheel drive sedan is housed in the floor. This positioning helps provide a low vehicle center of gravity for enhanced handling and maximizes trunk room, without compromising front or rear seat passenger legroom or comfort.
As a “production intent” concept, most of what you see in the LE Concept will become a reality, including its zero emission powertrain, advanced telematics, cutting-edge design, advanced connected services and premium appointments. Infiniti believes the future of luxury is sustainable luxury and we intend to continue taking a leadership role, building on the foundation set by our advanced Infiniti M Hybrid and high-mpg Infiniti JX luxury crossover.—Ben Poore
The company said that it designed the LE Concept has been designed as a pure Infiniti, rather than as an electric vehicle with luxury appointments. The vehicle is about the same overall length as an Infiniti G Sedan, supporting Infiniti’s belief that zero emission does not have to mean small.
A number of design features contribute to the coefficient of drag of 0.25, which aids driving range, including the aluminum-alloy wheels with aero treatment, the high rear deck, rear aero diffuser and aero side fin spoilers with integrated illumination. The large front grille features a solid finisher and a charge port hidden under the illuminated center Infiniti emblem. The deep-skirted front fascia includes an aero fin spoiler with illumination. The iconic Infiniti LED headlights and taillights echo the design direction of Infiniti’s recent Infiniti Essence and EMERG-E concepts.
Special illumination located under the rear diffuser illustrates the positioning of the wireless charger.
The center instrument cluster features an innovative connected twin display powered by an Intel Atom processor. The twin display will offer Infiniti LE drivers access to information such as a dynamic range calculator that will use onboard and cloud-based data. As the public charging station network expands, the on-board database will be kept current. And on compatible charger networks, the driver will be able to confirm real time charger availability.
The e-platform’s high body stiffness (with rigid-mounted battery frame), front independent strut/rear torsion beam suspension with double-piston shock absorbers provides a smooth ride. Handling is enhanced by the low noise, vibration and harshness e-powertrain, along with the low center of gravity and concentration of vehicle weight in the center of the vehicle.
The Infiniti LE Concept’s connectivity to the outside world includes the next generation of Infiniti Connection features, such as Infiniti Personal Assistant 24-hour concierge service, navigation, and POI search.