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Infiniti EVs to be built in China, first to be based on Q Inspiration

Infiniti plans to electrify its entire range from 2021.

The Q Inspiration concept was first shown in January 2018.
Jon Wong/Roadshow

Infiniti has shown several concepts hinting at future electric cars, but now we have a little more clarity about the brand's plans for rolling out EVs. Infiniti confirmed last week that its future electric cars will be built in China. And on Monday, Automotive News reports that the first model will debut in three years' time and will be based on the Q Inspiration concept.

Infiniti has previously said that it plans to electrify all its new models from 2021, with all cars from then either having the brand's E-Power range-extending system or a full-electric powertrain. The latter, a full-EV, was promised to debut in 2021. Infiniti says the decision to build the new EV range in China makes sense given that country's appetite for plug-in vehicles.

"China has the most growth potential for electric vehicles globally, especially in the premium segment," Infiniti chairman Christian Meunier said in a statement last week. "The age of electrification presents us with an opportunity to renew our credentials as an innovative challenger brand."

When it was first shown at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept used the concept's variable-compression turbo gasoline engine. But at last year's Beijing Motor Show, Infiniti said that it was building a dedicated electric-car platform that would draw, uh, inspiration from the concept. The Qs Inspiration concept shown at this year's Shanghai show, meanwhile, is said to use "electrified all-wheel drive." More recently at this year's Detroit show, the brand also showed off the QX Inspiration, an all-electric crossover concept.

That the Q Inspiration show car is a sedan may seem at odds not just with consumer preferences for crossovers but also the fact that most rival premium electric cars are crossovers. But Infiniti's Meunier told Automotive News that the design of an EV, "gives you a ton of opportunity to have a lot more space, a lot more functionality and a bigger cargo area … So I think a lot of people who migrated to SUVs are going to come back to electric sedans."