Taking Diesel Into Infiniti

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan

Nissan’s alleged premium brand Infiniti is going to the dark side…well, the less refined side. The Auto Channel reports that Infiniti are going to put a newly developed diesel power train (produced in grand alliance with Renault) into their vehicles for the European market. They are aiming to put this oil burner into the EX and FX CUV’s, and later into the M saloon. (Which is not a new watering hole. It’s what the Americans would call a sedan. Which is a town in France. Or in Australia. Or in Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and West Virginia. You figure it out. ED)

Infiniti has been in Europe for less than a year. Jim Wright, Vice President of Infiniti Europe, compensates lack of experience with lack of shame, and with a PR-writer prone to flowery prose (always a dead give-away for wannabe-luxury:) “The sales success enjoyed by Infiniti in Europe against a backdrop of financial uncertainty proves the cars’ appeal to a discerning audience. We have established Infiniti as the luxury performance brand thanks in part to the remarkable multi-award winning VQ petrol engine that powers most of the models in the range.” (And he didn’t refer to a kitchen stove. ED)

The rationale behind this move is obvious. To grow in Europe, you have to think European. What is common to all European luxury marques? (Except for two-bit players such as Bugatti or Rolls …) A good line of diesel vehicles. A must-have in Europe, despite American propaganda of falling market shares.

Wright said Infiniti had known that all along: “We were aware from the outset, however, that for Infiniti to offer a complete range a powerful diesel engine was a must, especially in the European premium SUV market where diesel represents the bulk of sector sales. Although we did investigate the possibility of adapting an existing large capacity diesel for Infiniti, we quickly established that nothing on the market met our exacting requirements. We needed an engine that delivered not just stunning performance but exemplary refinement too. For that reason, with the Alliance we decided to develop our own engine, a performance diesel worthy of the Infiniti badge.” (Seemingly, stilted sentences are as essential to the target group as Stilton cheese.)

Worthy it may be of the Infiniti badge, but I have a funny feeling it won’t be worthy of American customers, who, according to Euro trash lore, think diesel is something you buy in a truck stop. Or from your friendly illicit substance vendor.

Carkeys.co.uk gives us the low-down on the diesel engine’s figures. The engine will aim to churn out 235 BHP. The diesel engine in the Infiniti EX will give a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds and a combined fuel economy of 33.6mpg. The diesel engine in the Infiniti FX will aim to give a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds and a combined fuel economy of 31.4mpg. “Such is the refinement of the new diesel engine,” Infiniti’s Wright waxes poetic propulsion prose, “that the only way a driver will know what’s under the bonnet is by looking at the rev counter and seeing where the red line falls.” Particular drivers can sniff at the exhaust for diesel particulate. Gesundheit.

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  • Thebeelzebubtrigger Thebeelzebubtrigger on Feb 22, 2010

    Those of you who keep complaining about perfectly normal British usage and grammar are looking a bit silly to those of us who actually do much reading... And FWIW, I'm a native-born US citizen. Way to disprove the stereotype of Americans as ethnocentric, semi-literate oafs, y'all! ;)

  • Brettc Brettc on Feb 22, 2010

    I don't care too much about the differences in British writing. I can understand what's being said, so that's fine with me. This is "teh interwebs" after all, so seeing a coherent sentence is good enough. Anyway, I'm disappointed that no torque number is listed in the carkeys.co.uk article. Anyone that's ever driven a diesel passenger vehicle knows that it's the most important number along with fuel economy. I'm also surprised that they started selling Infiniti models in the UK without a diesel option to begin with.

    • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Feb 22, 2010

      Brettc According to the Auto Channel link, the engine puts out 550 Nm of torque.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.