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Infiniti Emerg-E electric supercar (photos)

Showing the world its sportiest car yet, Infiniti unveiled the Emerg-E concept at the 2012 Geneva auto show. This two-seater drives the wheels with electric motors, and uses a gas engine for extended range.

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Wayne Cunningham

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Beyond performance-oriented coupes, Infiniti has not produced a true sports car. But the Emerg-E could change Infiniti's reputation. Although only a concept, this design trades on supercar performance and modern, eco-friendly electric power.

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A two-seater, the Emerg-E concept uses a midengine design, which balances weight between the front and back of the car. As its driveline consists of two electric motors, a lithium ion battery pack, and a three-cylinder range extender engine, the layout would not be typical of a midengine car.

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Infiniti says the two electric motors combine to produce 402 horsepower, getting the Emerg-E to 60 mph in 4 seconds. The car hits 130 mph in 30 seconds.

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Electric range is only 30 miles in the Emerg-E, and that number is most likely achieved while being gentle on the acceleration. Infiniti does not say how many miles the three-cylinder range extending engine adds, but points out that it only emits 55 grams of CO2 per kilometer when the engine is running, an excellent figure.

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Although Infiniti has not released specifics, the electric motors should be near the rear wheels, with the battery pack behind the cabin. As the Emerg-E uses two electric motors, a computer could adjust torque separately to ensure good handling.

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A concept for now, Infiniti has not announced plans to produce the Emerg-E. But it would help Infiniti compete with Acura and Lexus, both of which are or will be fielding a supercar.

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