Axis Tuesday: Infiniti Essence Stops Geneva In Its Tracks



Breaking news: Henrik Fisker, of Fisker Karma fame, is now designing for Infiniti. This is nearly as big of a departure as Peter Schreyer’s move from Audi to Kia. For Henrik’s first design for Infiniti, he has penned a large, sumptuous coupe with a (surprise!) hybrid powertrain. Right now it’s just a concept, but if the global economy doesn’t grind to a complete halt (haha as if), there’s a good chance we’ll see a toned down version of this design in a couple of years.

The concept has a theoretical powertrain consisting of a 434 hp twin-turbo 3.7L V6 complemented by a 158 hp Li-ion battery pack for a total of 592 hp to the rear wheels. Gulp.

This design has just been unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show and it is rather good looking, I think you’ll agree. Most of the automotive press is already waxing lyrical about how amazing it is, so I’m going to mix things up and point out some areas where the Essence falls a little flat.


For starters, Henrik only got away with the excessively large grille because he tossed an excessively large logo on top of it. Also, the chrome everywhere is too American – if Infiniti is going to break into the European market successfully, it needs to tone down the flash.

The rear hatch opening is another area with room for improvement. Yes, it’s all very nice that LV made custom luggage to fit in that little cubby-hole of a trunk, but really the trunk should open fully all the way to the back of the seats just like in the 370Z or a Corvette. As a two-seat Grand Tourer, the Essence needs to have a little more room in the boot for those cross-continental trips from London to the Swiss Alps that Essence owners are wont to take.

Other than that, I’m seriously struggling to find faults in the design. The elaobrate body-surfacing and contouring could only be the result of the CAD Era of design and yet the overall shape is familiarly classical. The interior is just usual concept fare but the details of the exterior design could keep even Frank Gehry enraptured for hours.

Can you spot any more faults in the design?

 And by the way, Henrik Fisker had nothing to do with this design. At least not directly, although the influence of the Karma can certainly be seen.