Infiniti Etherea Concept Bows ahead of Geneva Debut

Infiniti has released the first few images of its new Etherea entry-level concept that’s set to debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Infiniti has released the first few images of its new Etherea entry-level concept that's set to debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March. Photo: Infiniti

Infiniti today releases the first images of its concept car for the 2011 Geneva Motor Show in March. Called Etherea, it is a compact luxury model that previews how a future entry-level Infiniti could look.

The pictures show an evolving Infiniti identity along with a profile distinctly different from anything currently available in the premium compact class.

“Etherea is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers,” said Toru Saito, Corporate Vice President and Leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit. “It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car.”

The automaker says that the Etherea's design "blends elements of coupe, sedan, hatchback and even crossover in one highly sculptural, near-mono volume form." Photo: Infiniti

Designed under the direction of Senior Vice President of Design Shiro Nakamura, Etherea blends elements of coupé, sedan, hatchback and even crossover in one highly sculptural, near-mono volume form. Insideline.com, however, says it’s a four-door hatchback.

At 4.4m it is highly compact but at the same time it is space efficient and practical thanks to a new mechanical layout and innovative access arrangements.

Among its surprises are high-tech new interpretations of traditional Japanese materials and finishes, and several design cues set to make their mark on future production models – including the highly distinctive crescent-shaped C-pillar first seen on the Essence concept.

The Infiniti Etherea Concept makes its world debut on the Infiniti stand (Hall 1, Booth 1030) at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show at 12:15 CET, 1st March 2011. Photo: Infiniti

Other than that, there’s little information available on the Etherea. Infiniti did identity it as a luxury model, which means it could cost around $30.000. In the mean time, automotive journalists are filling in the blanks.

“There’s plenty of throwback to the company’s showstopping Essence concept in the Etherea’s visuals, notably the wavy C-pillar design,” writes Autoblog.

“At only 173.2 inches long, the concept is about four inches longer than a Nissan Versa hatchback, and because of this, many of the styling cues – specifically the headlamps and that rearmost pillar – seem like they would be more at home on a much larger car.”

The Infiniti Etherea Concept makes its world debut on the Infiniti stand (Hall 1, Booth 1030) at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show at 12:15 CET, 1st March 2011. [via AutoBlog]

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