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by Tim Beissmann

Australian F1 racer Mark Webber will become the first person to drive the Infiniti Emerg-e prototype in public when he unleashes the 300kW plug-in sports car on the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb on July 1.

Infiniti global chief marketability engineer Jerry Hardcastle confirmed the Emerg-e’s maiden run would be momentous for the Goodwood crowd, with many of Infiniti’s top executives still yet to see the sleek concept in action.

Webber will attack the famous hill climb on Sunday after Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel charges up on Saturday in his exclusive Infiniti FX Vettel Edition sports SUV.

Unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show, the Infiniti Emerg-e promises straight-line performance to better an Aston Martin and fuel consumption to make the Toyota Prius blush.

infiniti-emerg-e-concept-interior

The 4.4m-long Emerg-e concept comprises a mid-mounted range-extending petrol engine and two electric motors that combine for a maximum power output of 300kW.

Infiniti says the concept accelerates from 0-60mph (96.6km/h) in 4.0 seconds, yet can be driven for 48km in pure-electric mode in more relaxed conditions.

Infiniti insists the Emerg-e is only a concept at this stage, although the technology and know-how generated from its development will influence the Japanese luxury brand’s first production EV – a mid-sized sedan based on the Infiniti LE concept – which is due to hit showrooms either in late 2013 or early 2014.




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