The littlest member of the Infiniti crossover family appears ready to turn in its badge at the end of its product cycle.
Infiniti’s bite-sized crossover, called the QX40 QX20 QX30 (thanks, Johann), and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class are a set of twins resulting from a tawdry relationship between Mercedes-Benz and the Japanese brand. Based on remarks made by Infiniti reps at the Detroit Auto Show, it doesn’t appear there will be a redux.
Why Infiniti needs a subcompact crossover that shares its platform with the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is a mystery that only the folks at Nissan HQ know the answer to.
After all, I spent four days wheeling one all over Los Angeles, from the airport to downtown and back, and I still don’t know the answer to that question.
Separating the QX30 from its platform mate and judging it on its own merits, however, is nonetheless revealing.
My long-standing personal vendetta against DLO FAIL — an internet-slang definition of black plastic “ cheater panels” — takes center stage in this episode of Detroit Auto Show coverage.
Consider this: if manufacturing and design teams cannot decide on the same roof, if they cheat to make it right, did they design something worthy of the auto show lights?
I [s]complain[/s] report, you make the final decision!
Infiniti finally got our letter that the Q30 and the QX30 looked so much alike that we thought they were the same car.
From here and forevermore they’ll both be known as the QX30, according to the automaker.
Accordingly, the QX30 comes in three flavors: QX30 (nee Q30, or Sedan Spice), QX30 AWD (nee QX30, or Crossover Spice) and a sporty edition QX30S (nee Sporty Spice).
* Assuming a “cut” is a unit of measurement equaling 3/4 of an inch.
The night before the opening of the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Infiniti invited media to check out its new crossover darling: the 2017 QX30.
Calling it a crossover might be a stretch as the new model is but a mere 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 (which is 0.75-inches taller than the Q30 S) on which it’s based. Same with calling it an Infiniti, as anyone who’s spent time in a Mercedes-Benz GLA will attest. Daimler touches are everywhere.
“But,” said Roland Krüger, president of Nissan’s luxury marque, “once you drive it, you’ll immediately know it’s an Infiniti.”
What Krüger means by that is very much open to interpretation. However, differentiating the newest compact crossover from that of its frenemy is paramount to making it successful.
A manufacturing plant in Mexico jointly owned by Daimler and Renault-Nissan will begin construction imminently, according to Daimler.
The facility, which will be located in Aguascalientes — about 150 northeast of Guadalajara and 300 miles northwest of Mexico City — will build “compact premium vehicles” for the automakers, which may include the Mercedes-Benz CLA/GLA and the upcoming Infiniti Q30/QX30 that share similar front-wheel drive architectures.
Nissan is expected to produce vehicles from the plant for 2017, and Mercedes vehicles will roll of the lines in 2018.
Confirming their June confirmation, Infiniti will bring a production-ready version of their compact Q30 to the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The compact, which will be built in the United Kingdom, powered by the same 2.0-liter, turbo four that powers the Mercedes GLA and CLA under a joint agreement between Mercedes and Renault-Nissan.
The related compact crossover QX30 shouldn’t be far behind.
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