Infiniti pulled the wraps off of its latest 100 percent electric vehicle concept. What's interesting here is that Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn claims that this concept is an 85 percent accurate representation of a production vehicle that we should see within the next 24 months.
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The Infiniti LE is a small sedan, smaller visually than the automaker's G Sedan, and features a highly conceptual version of the automaker's design language. That illuminated grill, for example, will probably not see production, but the LED headlamps likely will.
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Under the sheet metal, the LE is powered by an electric drivetrain that offers 240 pound-feet of torque across the full rpm range. Fueling the electric motor (or motors) is a 24 kWh lithium ion battery pack.
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With an estimated release date 24 months in the future, the Infiniti LE will get the the market about a year after the Tesla Model S is expected to go on sale. If the price is right, this could be an interesting competition.
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The LE places its battery pack beneath the cabin floor, rigidly mounted to the frame, to lower the center of gravity and maximize cabin and trunk space.
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"The LE Concept's bold exterior is defined by its underlying high performance. It is first and foremost an Infiniti, born of our philosophy of Inspired Performance. Rather than taking an EV and adding an Infiniti badge, we are taking an Infiniti and removing the tailpipe," explained Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. "Infiniti is all about challenging convention, which this vehicle does -- proving that luxury at the next level can be both gorgeous and zero emission."
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The LE concept features multiple charging options: an integrated charging port, a DC fast charge option, and -- most interestingly -- a wireless charging system.
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The wireless charging system uses induction to recharge the battery with a physical connection. This is cool, but we've seen this technology demonstrated before.
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Where the LE wows us is that its wireless charging system is integrated with the vehicle's Intelligent Park Assist and Around-View Camera technologies to take control of the electronic power steering and drive by wire throttle to automatically align its induction receiver with the wireless charging point.
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The LE should feature this wireless charging hardware and automatic parking system as standard features. Infiniti hopes to be the first to be to the market with this setup.
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