Infiniti Research Click to hide
Enough messing around. Infiniti is in the midst of a resurgence; maybe an emergence for the first time. As a new global luxury automaker no longer serving as an afterthought to parent company Nissan, Infiniti is creating a new portfolio of products from top to bottom to win over the Audi/BMW/Mercedes-Benz set. Starting the trend was the new Infiniti Q50 sedan that we recently drove. But the true starting point for Infiniti will be the Q30, previewed here as a concept vehicle before it is expected to go on sale in 2015. From the front-wheel-drive chassis to the coupe/hatch/crossover looks, it's impossible to pin down exactly what it is. And that's exactly what Infiniti wants.
Who It's For
Infiniti says specifically that the Q30 is for "young-minded premium customers unconstrained by convention." What that means to you is that this is an entry-level car that will compete in the U.S. with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, BMW 1 Series, Audi A3, and others for younger, more affluent buyers. Infiniti CEO Johan de Nysschen minced no words when he said a few weeks back at Nissan 360 in Irvine, California, that the production version of this car would have among the nicest interior materials in its class. Downsizing doesn't mean downgrading.
Disrupt the status quo is Infiniti's mantra with the Q30, and these points help do just that:
- A dissymmetric interior with warm colors and rich materials that are designed to be less stoic than German rivals.
- A bold look that builds upon what was set forth by the Q50.
What We Think
There are no new technologies here. There aren't a bunch of LEDs or lasers or any kind of technological piece that isn't already in every other luxury car out there. There doesn't need to be.
The Infiniti Q30 instead previews just what the brand has in store to build its niche in the marketplace. It's attractive, almost Mazda Kodo-like in styling, and so much bolder than the German crowd. Infiniti will grow because it really can't get much smaller than its current 170,000-unit worldwide volume. This car, especially tailored for the European and Chinese markets, will help get it there. We'll see how it does in the U.S. when the production version shows up in two years.
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