Infiniti: To 2012, But Not Beyond!
Autocar has revealed Nissan’s luxury brand’s five-year plan: “a Mercedes S-class-sized limousine, a new all-wheel-drive seven-seat SUV and an all-electric entry-level model.” Guess which one is slated for 2012? Meanwhile, the new M has a no-V8s-please date with 2010. “This car will be engineered to accept Infiniti’s 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine, and its forthcoming 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel—although both the EX and FX SUVs will get the V6 oil-burner before that.” [NB: Infiniti’s in Europe now, hence the oil burners. For them.] So far, so believable, Moving along the timeline, and across the credibility axis, next up: a 2011 “flagship.” No, not the S-Class thingie. A new QX SUV! Rescuing that turkey’s rep in the middle of the SUV downturn strikes me as a billion dollar windmill tilt, but, hey, show us what you’ve got. In 2012, an Infiniti Quattroporte killer. Huh? Just the sub-head. “The firm’s biggest four-door will be badged ‘Q’ and will take over from the Q45 saloon that Infiniti discontinued in 2006.” And for good reason on all counts. And finally, electric dreams. “Infiniti’s most distant plans currently include a battery-powered compact model, although building it is still very much an ambition for the company rather than a concrete part of the product schedule.” As good a definition of vaporware as I’ve ever read, excluding Tesla press releases.
The QX45 is truly an awesome SUV. I'd love to own one if I had an extra six-figures a year for the gas that thing eats. But man it's a really nice ride.
The G, like the CTS, is sorta in the middle of the 3 and 5 series in size. I'd love something between the 1 and 3 (then again, I would buy a 5 door 1 series hatch instantly if they offered it). The M is probably my first choice in that class, but it would be better if it didn't seem so close to the G in size optically. A Q could sell if they can really make it significantly better than the rest of the class, but the aggressive styling of their lower models will hurt them there - as they just aren't quite "classy" enough.
Interesting photo...it reminds me of the old square Volvo wagon I saw a couple of weeks ago in northern California...it was slammed and had 22-inch wheels.
The M actually sells decently well, especially considering Infiniti's general lack of badge cachet. It mops the floor with the RL in sales, and usually beats up the A6, though the 3.0T may allow Audi to claw back a bit. The M generally sells about the same as the GS. Both get beaten by the 5 and E, which continue to dominate the mid-lux segment.