Infiniti Considers Four Door Coupe Flagship to Take On Porsche Panamera, Hybrid Midengine Supercar to Follow

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff

Infiniti Essence concept

Andy Palmer, who is in charge of global future product planning for Nissan, says that the company’s Infiniti luxury brand is considering a sporty four door flagship to compete in the segment defined by the Porsche Panamera. A likely candidate would be Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura’s Infiniti Essence concept first shown at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. However, an Infiniti flagship would not reach the market before 2017. It would be part of Nissan’s goal to grow Infiniti into a global luxury brand by the end of the decade.

Infiniti has not competed head to head with European luxury marques in the S Class or 7 Series segment since the early days of Nissan’s luxury brand and the original Q45. Instead Infiniti has built its brand around a lineup of sporty sedans, coupes and crossovers. “We can’t just take on the opposition directly,” said Infiniti chief Johann de Nysschen while speaking to Automotive News. “We have to bring our own unique flavor to the global market.”

“We won’t do a Merc S class or that type of car,” said Palmer. “We have had that before. We want a flagship car that’s appealing and different.”

While they say they don’t want to make a S Class clone, because of contractual agreements between Nissan and Daimler the Infiniti flagship could be based on Mercedes-Benz’s latest modular MRA rear-wheel-drive architecture.

Sources say that Nakamura and his team are working with the Essence’s proportions and roofline so the basic shape will be retained while adding two more doors and more interior space.

The new flagship is not a given, a business case still has to be made for it. “We have the halo car in the plan, but it is not signed off yet,” said Palmer. “The sales of [sedans] like the Q50 and SUVs like the QX60 will have to be going well and then I can go to our approval committee.” The new 4 door coupe would possibly be named the Q100, the same moniker given to Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull F1 car, which Infiniti sponsors.

Infiniti Emerg E concept

The new flagship would be part of a $6.46 billion plan to make Infiniti a significant player in the global luxury market, with a target of earning a 10% share of that market by 2020, about half a million cars annually. The current lineup is being updated and rebranded and another five models will be added to Infiniti showrooms.

Should it be greenlighted for production, the flagship will possibly be joined by a mid-engined hybrid supercar based on the Emerg-E concept, to serve as a halo for the brand’s sportier cars.

TTAC Staff
TTAC Staff

More by TTAC Staff

Join the conversation
14 of 35 comments
  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Oct 21, 2013

    Flagships are irrelevant. Old man cars. The future is in high style cars like the A7. Nobody under 30 aspires to own something like an A8. It's all about the Range Rovers and CLSs.

    • See 11 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Oct 22, 2013

      @ash78 One [made up] word: re-feudalization.

  • Racer-esq. Racer-esq. on Oct 21, 2013

    Infiniti could have just bought Fisker and had this right now.

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.