Built to celebrate the Japanese manufacturer’s 20th anniversary, the Essence has become one of the most talked about concept cars of recent years. Infiniti say the Essence “is as much a design and technology test bed” as it is a “celebration of inspired Performance and craftsmanship” but between us, it simply looks like it kicks ass. But in a nice cuddly way that won’t drown any polar bears or harm the trees.
That’s because, as the name would suggest, the Essence is a hybrid which feature’s Infiniti’s first ever ‘powertrain’. A whopping 434-horsepower twin-turbo 3.7 litre V6, partnered with a 158-horsepower electric engine, creating a combined 592bhp. You’ll never see that in a Prius! In fact the only time you’ll glimpse a Prius in this is from your rear view mirror when you’ve left it standing at the traffic lights.
On the outside the car is simply stunning, with sharp lines, and luscious curves a-plenty. The long bonnet is complimented by a steep windscreen and dramatic wheel arches that house monster 22-inch wheels.
It’s 4.7m long muscular body, sits astride the front-engined rear-wheel-drive chassis, and contains neat Oriental design touches like the side air vent trims, which are based on the “kanzashi” hairpin worn by Japanese Geishas.
The Essence looks just as amazing on the inside, and Infiniti have even thought of something to keep the WAGs happy. The two-door two-seater comes complete with its own bespoke set of Louis Vuitton luggage. Don’t worry though, there’s plenty of room for golf clubs once you’ve dropped the wife off at the airport.
Infiniti’s chief stylist Mamoru Aoki says the Essence is: “An exploration into the brand’s future.” A future of being able to drive fast and look cool without the green brigade on your back sounds good to me.