Microsoft, Magic Car Pics
Known for its performance saloons, coupes and crossovers, Infiniti's new Etherea concept breaks new ground for Nissan's luxury brand, opening up the possibility of a new car to slot in beneath the G saloon and coupe.
According to senior Infiniti executive Toru Saito "Etherea is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers", breaking preconceived ideas about what a small, premium car should be like.
With cars like the EX and FX crossovers Infiniti has proved it's not shy of doing things a bit differently with customers seemingly responding well to the distinctive and unashamedly extravagant design.
Yet the Etherea was overshadowed on Geneva press day by Infiniti's other announcement. Red Bull Racing is now Red Bull Infiniti. The engines are still Renault, but the partnership between Infiniti parent Nissan and Renault results in new branding.
And a potential extra 8 million euro in Red Bull's pockets too. Red Bull boss Christian Horner and F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel were there to take a bow. Vettel quite likes his new FX50 road car, it seems.
What is it?
Infiniti's clearly thinking outside of the box when it comes to creating a new, smaller car for the brand.
Infiniti has, in a short time, come up with a very distinctive design language and the Etherea takes this and runs with it to create an eye-catching idea of what the brand could do to compete with the Audi A3, posh Golfs and the new Lexus CT200h.
The Etherea concept is full of technology. Infiniti has gleaned technical know-how and electronic wizardry from parent company Nissan while keeping the brand's character well and truly intact.
Infiniti prides itself on individuality and identity, a factor it's tried hard to retain with the Etherea concept. Andy Palmer, Senior Vice President for Infiniti says "Like every Infiniti, it will be completely different to anything currently offered by our rivals."
That styling is certainly distinctive, but is it actually handsome? The jury's out, but the Etherea is perhaps a little too radical for this conservative sector, more's the pity.
How much and when?
MSN Cars verdict
Infiniti tries to 'do a Juke' and spice up the luxury market with a new, smaller model blessed with deliberately eye-catching styling.
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