Infiniti Flagship Sedan May Appear at NAIAS

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Nearly 30 years ago, Infiniti introduced the first-generation Q45 — a remarkable flagship sedan packed with performance and technology but whose rocks-and-trees ad campaign went on to become a staple of “what not to do” in undergrad marketing courses across the land.

Infiniti pulled the plug on its flagship after the 2006 model year, following poor sales performances that plumbed the depths of Excel charts heretofore unknown to any model since the Lincoln Blackwood.

Which was unfortunate because the Q, by and large, was an excellent car. Now, there appears to be a good chance we’ll see a new Infiniti flagship sedan, perhaps as soon as the Detroit Auto Show in January.

According to an interview published by Car and Driver, the Japanese automaker might have something in store for the brand faithful.

“In Detroit, we will show something about that subject which is super nice,” Nissan design boss Alfonso Albaisa said when quizzed about an Infiniti flagship sedan. “Honestly, we have a little bit of a new proportion because of new technologies, and without saying too much, we will have some news in Detroit,” he continued.

Reading between the lines, one can logically speculate that the new technologies allowing this “new proportion” are hybrid in nature. It also would not be surprising for any flagship Infiniti sedan to take the form of a four-door “coupe,” in the vein of Audi’s A7 or the Mercedes-Benz CLS 550.

Back in 2014, Infiniti showed the world its Q80 Inspiration concept, a sleek and flowing four-door that never turned into any sort of a production model. More recently, however, most of what the company has shown on stage actually morphed into some sort of machine available in showrooms, a turn of events which bodes well for any concept we find in the Motor City.

The market, of course, is currently infatuated with SUVs and crossovers, making any such sedan a tough sell to the accounting department. Fortunately, Infiniti’s cupboard is well stocked in that segment, with the full-size body-on-frame QX80 recently being refurbished unto the zenith of plushness.

In an ideal scenario, the flagship SUV will take care of the profits while a new flagship sedan will create buzz as it is pressed into service in prominent and visible parts of America. This author believes, in today’s market, there is room for two flagships: an SUV and a sedan.

Of course, we can no longer call Infiniti’s flagship sedan the “new Q,” thanks to Johan De Nysschen and his decision to plunk that particular consonant at the fore of every sedan the company makes. We tried to reach Infiniti’s brand ambassador for naming schemes, pictured below, but he was too busy being omnipotent and annoying Captain Picard.

The North American International Auto Show takes place in Detroit at the beginning of January, with media preview days being held January 14th through 16th.

[Image: Infiniti]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Nov 17, 2017

    I think any new flagship will replace the ancient Q70 (seriously, it's 2006 underneath there), and so I am doubting they'd come to market with a liftback as their only flagship sedan-type vehicle. I think it'll be a regular sedan, called the Q80, matching the QX80 as flagship SUV. They might also do a Q70 (think A7) which will be a liftback entry.

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Nov 17, 2017

    +1 million for the ST:TNG reference. Make it so!

    • Vipul Singh Vipul Singh on Nov 18, 2017

      Mmm..let me load up some episodes right away. Still 23:55 only here :)

  • JMII I doubt Hyundai would spend the development costs without having some idea of a target buyer.As an occasional track rat myself I can't imagine such a buyer exists. Nearly $70k nets you a really good track toy especially on the used market. This seems like a bunch of gimmicks applied to a decent hot hatch EV that isn't going to impression anyone given its badge. Normally I'd cheer such a thing but it seems silly. Its almost like they made this just for fun. That is awesome and I appreciate it but given the small niche I gotta think the development time, money and effort should have been focused elsewhere. Something more mainstream? Or is this Hyundai's attempt at some kind of halo sports car?Also seems Hyundai never reviles sales targets so its hard to judge successful products in their line up. I wonder how brutal depreciation will be on these things. In two years at $40k this would a total hoot.So no active dampers on this model?
  • Analoggrotto Colorado baby!
  • Rob Woytuck Weight is also a factor for ferries which for instance in British Columbia, Canada are part of the highway system.
  • Ajla I guess some people were big fans of Milli Vanilli and Real Dolls (don't Google that at work) but I have a very large problem with the fake engine sounds and fake transmissions. If you turn them off does it stay off forever or does it turn back on whenever you go into sport mode?
  • Probert That X frame was a killer. No nostalgia for these things to be honest. Yup - life of the party....