Infiniti rolls out sexy electric LE Concept

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Infiniti unveiled a sleek and very interesting looking electric vehicle concept dubbed the Infiniti LE at the New York Auto Show this past week

Essentially, the car is an upscale luxury version of the rather homely Nissan Leaf.The Leaf has been on the market for a while now and hasn't sold in huge numbers - with only about 10,000 offloaded during its first year of availability in the US.

Generally, EV's are purchased by more affluent buyers, and the plain and mundane Leaf could be preventing some green car shoppers from choosing the vehicle.

To remedy the situation, Nissan Motors is aiming upscale with the new EV coming to its luxury Infiniti brand using the Leaf drive train with a few tweaks.

Outside, the LE concept is equipped with sexy body panels, while the inside of the vehicle features an infotainment system with dual screens powered by an Intel Atom processor.

The LE Concept uses the same 100 kW synchronous electric motor as the Leaf, but bumps the power up a bit.

Indeed, the Infiniti's electric motor boasts 134 hp and 240 pound-feet of torque compared to the Leaf's 110 hp and 210 pound-feet of torque. The LE Concept uses the same 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the same single speed transmission, and suspension set up as the Leaf. The Infiniti LE Concept is expected to have a range of about 100 miles per charge.

The concept is expected to come to market as a production vehicle in the next two years at an undisclosed price. The Nissan Leaf carries an MSRP of about $35,000, which would seemingly push the luxury Infiniti version of to at least $40,000 for starters. For that kind of money, the Fisker Atlantic looks much more appealing for green drivers.