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Infiniti looks to launch two-seater sports car

Infiniti has announced its intention to unveil a two-seat, mid-engined sports car concept at the Geneva show six months from now.

The concept, which is likely to have input from F1 partner Red Bull Racing, will have zero emissions capability, said Andy Palmer, Infiniti's head of global planning and communications.

"If you're looking for inspired performance it would be from a car with a two-seat, mid-engine layout," said Palmer, speaking to journalists at Frankfurt's Infiniti Centre where the Sebastian Vettel inspired FX was driven into the showroom.

"We do concepts to test reaction and that's just what the Geneva car will be," said Palmer.

It is part of Infiniti's plan to have a product in most premium segments. This will extend to a C segment car based on the Etherea concept which was shown at Geneva this year and makes its German debut at Frankfurt.

Infiniti will also use four cylinder petrol and diesel engines from Mercedes-Benz as part of the co-operation agreement signed last year with Daimler, said Palmer.

He also explained the thinking behind the tie-up with Red Bull racing. "only 2.5% of people in Europe were aware of Infiniti as a luxury brand. To raise awareness there are the Olympics - already taken by BMW, football which doesn't fit with Infiniti's image or F1 racing, so we went with the best team in F1."

The relationship is already paying dividends, as Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko explained. The team was having problems with its KERS energy system at the beginning of the season which "the knowledge within Nissan-Infiniti has helped solve. We now have a small team looking at what else we can do."

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