By on November 17, 2017

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration

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.

Q (Infiniti Brand Spokesman)

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]

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