F1 champion Mark Webber to drive Infiniti Emerg-E prototype at Goodwood
By C.C. Weiss
June 20, 2012
Infiniti introduced the high-tech Emerg-e hybrid supercar at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. At the time, the company didn't confirm that it plans to produce the car, but definitely didn't close the door on the possibility. The latest news is that the first working prototype of the electrifying concept car will be unveiled at the upcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed in the U.K. with F1 racer Mark Webber behind the wheel.
Infiniti will approach its first year as an official sponsor of the Goodwood event with a purpose. The famous Goodwood Hillclimb will serve as the Emerg-E's first public driving display. According to Infiniti, some high ranking executives have yet to even see it drive.
Infiniti doesn't mention any changes to the Emerg-E, so we'll assume it uses the same configuration - albeit a working version - that was announced in Geneva. Two mid-mounted electric motors drive the rear wheels and a range-extending three-cylinder engine keeps the motors running when lithium-ion power runs out. The combination offers up to 30 miles (48 km) of emissions-free driving, puts out 402 hp and inspires the car to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in a flat 4 seconds - which should give Goodwood crowds something to get excited about.
The Emerg-E was designed in the U.K. and is the first Infiniti to be developed in Europe. Infiniti worked with Lotus in developing the car. While Infiniti hasn't announced any production plans, it has said that it intends to produce a halo car and send some of the technologies from the concept to assembly lines, one way or another.
The Emerg-E won't be the only Infiniti in the Hillclimb. Infiniti driver and F1 poster boy Sebastian Vettel will drive Infiniti's most powerful, expensive production vehicle at Goodwood. Infiniti calls the 420-hp FX Vettel Edition the "world's most exclusive SUV." Only 50 models have been confirmed for the European market. The special edition cuts weight and increases downforce by 30 percent over the standard FX. It will go on sale next year for a price of €120,000/£100,000 (US$160,000 at publishing).
The Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from June 28 to July 1. Gizmag will be on hand to cover the event, so be sure to check in for updates.
See more of the Emerg-E in our photo gallery and the brief teaser clip below.