Infiniti Flagship Sedan May Appear at NAIAS

infiniti flagship sedan may appear at naias

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]

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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 :)

  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.