Mark Webber driving the Infiniti Emerg-E at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of SpeedEnlarge Photo
This proposed feature was soundly rejected by interviewees. But at least one respondent suggested that if the car’s artificial intelligence was competent enough, then having a fully interactive conversation with therapeutic or cathartic payoff might be attractive.
General Design Assessment
Toward the end of the interview session, attendees were asked about whether they were more interested in a taller, SUV-like vehicle or a lower, more aerodynamic format. A lower, sportier design was the almost unanimous choice.
The always-challenging issue of electric vehicle range was touched upon; respondents suggested at least 200 miles, with others wanting 400 miles or more, before “issues of range anxiety” would disappear.
One respondent found various design elements “bizarre,” and another said that the emphasis by the group leader on participants' “emotional responses” was a bit too “touchy feely"--possibly saying more about the participant's attitudes toward the topic than about the survey.
Nevertheless, it would appear that at least one “major manufacturer” is assessing whether to offer a cutting-edge electric performance car.
Overall, the questions, images, and tone of the study strongly suggests that the carmaker in question is Nissan.
NOTE: Marketing study participants were not required to sign a confidentiality agreement, but to protect those people, their names have not been used in this report.