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Auto blogTue, 02 Sep 2014 05:44:00 EST
Aston Martin has been without a helmsman since Ulrich Bez stepped down from the chief executive office at the end of last year, stepping back to serve as non-executive chairman in a semi-retired ambassadorial capacity. The British automaker, now on the cusp of a new era, has been running without a CEO since, but has now named Bez's replacement in Andy Palmer.
If you don't recognize the name, you should: Palmer has worked under the Renault-Nissan Alliance for decades now, rising through the ranks to become one of the top executives under Carlos Ghosn. Most recently he was serving as executive vice president of the entire group and chairman of the Infiniti brand, but like Carlos Tavares, who recently left Renault to run Peugeot, Palmer is now embarking on a new mission as CEO of Aston Martin.
Once the transition period is complete at the start of October, Palmer's role as Chief Planning Officer at Renault-Nissan will be assumed by Philippe Klein, who steps up from his current role as executive vice president of product planning for Renault. Read the statements from both companies below.
Infiniti is among the best of the non-exotic brands when it comes to crafting concepts, with designers who just seem to know how to show a truly wild vehicle with subtle hints at a future model. Just take a look at its latest Q80 Inspiration at the 2014 Paris Motor Show to see what we mean.
Infiniti claims that the Q80 imagines how it would build a future, fullsize luxury sedan to take on the stalwart Mercedes-Benz S-Class. However, in the current form it seems like a flight of fancy. It's packed with fabulously weird styling tricks, including birdwing-shaped headlights. There's also the roof and windshield that look at first glance to be a single piece of teardrop-shaped glass terminating at a boat-tail rear. In addition, the Inspiration has every concept designer's favorite gimmick - suicide doors.
Under the hood sits a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and electric motor hybrid with a claimed 550 horsepower. The company asserts that the powertrain is actually on the way in the next two years and could do 43 miles per gallon (5.5 liters per 100 kilometers), though it's not specified on what driving cycle that's calculated on.
Here are just a few great drift cars: Toyota AE86, Mazda RX-7, Nissan Z, Nissan Silvia, and Ford Mustang. One vehicle you won't find on that list, however, is the Infiniti M, because it's a big, heavy luxury car.
It's comfortable, spacious and better to drive than you might expect. And yet, even though it was possible to get one with a very nice 335-horsepower, 4.5-liter V8, it wouldn't be the first car we'd gut and take drifting in an empty warehouse. Formula Drift driver Chris Forsberg didn't get our memo, evidently, which is why we have this video of him flinging a big, white Infiniti through an empty building.
It's an entertaining video, if only because using an M as a drift car is just such a ludicrous sight. Scroll down to watch the entire clip.