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Infiniti Etherea Concept at Geneva

Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0800

Infiniti Etherea - Infiniti's Compact Concept for Geneva

Last week we had one of Infiniti’s Rolf Harris doodles come in to tease an entry-level Infiniti Concept scheduled to make an appearance at Geneva.

This week, with two weeks to go until the press days at the Geneva Motor Show, that Infiniti Concept gets a name and we also get a photo to put to the name – The Infiniti Etherea.

Etherea seems a bit pretensious for an entry-level Infiniti, but it’s not a name that will make it through to the production car it spawns. That is much more likely to be something very prosaic, like Infiniti C.

According to Infiniti, the Ethera is not just a smaller version of a luxury car but a new type of luxury for younger buyers. Which sounds like a justification for making a small car. Nothing more. Although there are some nice design touches and Infiniti are saying the Etherea offers ‘high-tech new interpretations of traditional Japanese materials and finishes’.

Which sounds promising. Although didn’t the last Infiniti Concept – the Infiniti Essence – boast an interior fit for a Samurai and complete with traditional Japanese materials and Japanese Laquerware?

At under 14′ 5″, the Infiniti Etherea comes in at almost exactly the same size as the Lexus CT 200h. Which is no doubt Infiniti’s main target and, if anybody ever gets to see it, a well aimed target.

Because the CT 200h is a one-trick pony with its Prius underpinnings. If the Etherea – when it turns from concept to production – can offer a range of proper ICE power plants it could be the definitive small luxury Japanese car.

Which is exactly what the Lexus CT 200h could have been if Lexus had done the clever thing and given a few options on the running gear.

More at Geneva.

By Cars UK