F1’s Mark Webber to drive plug-in hybrid for the first time in public
By John Silcox on June 15, 2012 2:45 PM
An updated Infiniti Emerg-E plug-in hybrid supercar concept will make its world driving debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month.
The Emerg-E wowed crowds at this year’s Geneva motor show but will need to rely on more than its beauty to do the same at the West Sussex Estate, as it will compete in the hill climb event. The Japanese manufacturer is putting Red Bull’s Formula One driver Mark Webber at the helm, hoping he can get the best out of the EV that Infiniti previously described as “300 horsepower in a silky dress”.
“The Festival of Speed crowds will be seeing Emerg-E in action for the first time ever, even before many of Infiniti’s top executives have seen it,” commented Jerry Hardcastle, Global Chief Marketability Engineer. “Goodwood spectators will see not just an exquisite design but an example of our and our partners’ technologies for an environmentally-friendly car brimming with true Infiniti driver appeal.”
The supercar which is designed and built in the UK has received a series of minor changes since Geneva. Its overall lines remain true to the original concept, however the front grille has been reworked and no longer features horizontal bars, while different wing mirrors add homogeneity to the overall look. It also appears to be slightly taller than before thanks to redesigned wheels that add to the ride-height.
For the first time, Infiniti will be one of the main sponsors at the Festival of Speed and will be presenting a wide range of new products.
Like his Red Bull teammate, reigning Formula One world champion Vettel will also be making a trip up the hill. However, the German will be driving a 420bhp Infiniti FX Vettel edition, showcasing the limited-edition model which costs £100,800. A M35h hybrid, the car billed as the world’s fastest-accelerating petrol/electric hybrid saloon will also be making an appearance.
The Earl of March, Festival of Speed founder, added: “I am delighted to welcome Infiniti to the Goodwood family, with its distinctive and highly-original way of showcasing its products and brand philosophy. I am proud that Infiniti has chosen the Festival of Speed to dynamically debut exciting products such as the FX Vettel edition and EMERG-E concept globally as well” he added.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed will be held between 28 June and 1 July 2012 and has for theme ‘Young Guns – Born to Win’. It aims to celebrate drivers, riders, designers and engineers whose supreme talent and insatiable thirst for speed shocked the establishment, affording them immediate superstar status.