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Infiniti Will Be “All Electrified” After 2021, Says New CEO

Hiroto Saikawa also hints that Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance may seek a fourth partner.

by on Jan.16, 2018

Nissan's Hiroto Saikawa told attendees at the Automotive News World Congress that Infiniti will be electrified by 2021.

Luxury brand Infiniti will rapidly shift away from conventional powertrains and will be “all electrified,” with the exception of some large SUVs by 2021, according to the automaker’s new CEO Hiroto Saikawa.

The auto industry, as a whole is rapidly beginning to electrify as it comes under increasing pressure from regulators around the world. But the plan for Infiniti is one of the most aggressive moves so far announced by any automotive brand with the exception of Volvo which will switch to only hybrid, plug-in or pure battery-electric power for all new models launched by 2018.

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“Infiniti will have a specific focus on electrification,” said Saikawa, who replaced Carlos Ghosn as CEO of Nissan Motor Co. on April 1, 2016. “We are trying to position Infiniti as the premier electrified brand” as part of the five-year plan that will extend through 2022. (more…)

Infiniti Inspired: But What to Make of the New Q Inspiration Concept

Is this the long-awaited successor to the Q45?

by on Jan.15, 2018

The Q45 Inspiration Concept may not show up in the Infiniti line-up but will influence future product design, officials said.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype making its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit?

Have we finally gotten a glimpse of the long-awaited successor to the brand’s original halo car, the 1990 Q45? Or is the new Inspiration just there to tease us with hints of the direction Infiniti will take after a recent shake-up in corporate design management?

What a Concept!

“Our Detroit concept car heralds a new generation of Infiniti,” is all we’re getting from Alfonso Albaisa, the long-time Infiniti stylist who recently was named global design director for parent Nissan Motor Co. The Q Inspiration, he added, it meant to demonstrate Infiniti’s approach to “artistry in the new age of autonomy and breakthrough drivetrains.”

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Infiniti Inspired: Q Inspiration Concept Hints at Future Flagship

Q45 reborn?

by on Jan.03, 2018

Infiniti provides a rear view of the Q Inspiration Concept coming to the NAIAS this month.

Infiniti has a long history of teasing us with exotic concepts that eventually translate into slightly more sedate production vehicles. So, what to make of the inspiring new fastback prototype it plans to bring to the North American International Auto Show in mid-January.

Though the brand now uses “Q” to designate all of its passenger car models – and QX for its SUVs and CUVs — the name, Q Inspiration Concept, clearly suggests it is envisioned as the long-awaited successor to the original Q45 sedan that first put the brand on the map.

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“Experimenting with new proportions in a typically conservative segment, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body,” says Karim Habib, here delivering his first major concept car as the newly named Infiniti executive design director. “We aim to take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution.”

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Infiniti Bringing Sedan Concept to NAIAS; Could Reveal Radical Shift in Dimensions

Design will mark “shift toward smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains”

by on Dec.21, 2017

Pure as the driven snow? Infiniti teases the sedan design concept coming to Detroit next month.

Is this Infiniti’s answer to the Jaguar I-Pace?

Rumors have been circulating for some time that the Japanese automaker was preparing something special for the North American International Auto Show, possibly a long-awaited replacement for its long-gone Q45 flagship sedan. And that is clearly one of the possibilities that could be in store when it gives us a look at the rest of the snow-white concept vehicle teased in this front-end close-up. But wherever it might fit in the line-up, the show car isn’t going to be just another four-door.

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“The new Infiniti concept car will take the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution,” suggests Karim Habib, the luxury brand’s executive design director. And key to that is adapting to, “A shift toward smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains.”

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Infiniti Takes Wraps Off of new QX50 in Los Angeles

New ute features breakthrough engine and helps round out SUV portfolio.

by on Nov.29, 2017

The all-new Infiniti QX50 is expected to be one of the pivot factors in driving the brand's sales beyond 200,000 units annually.

Infiniti unveiled its new mid-sized sport-utility vehicle, the 2019 QX50, ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new QX50 is expected to become a key part of its product line.

Christian Meunier, Infiniti Global Division vice president, described the QX50 as a luxury crossover with cutting edge technologies, standout design and unrivaled interior space, riding on an entirely new platform.

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“The 2019 QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for: Beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance. As a luxury mid-size crossover, it’s the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world’s fastest growing segments,” Meunier said. (more…)

2019 Infiniti QX50 Introduces World’s First Variable-Compression Engine

Diesel-like mileage, V-6 performance.

by on Nov.27, 2017

Debuting at the LA Auto Show, the Infiniti QX50 will bring to market the first variable-compression turbo engine.

When Infiniti hinted its new QX50 crossover would be its “most advanced car ever,” they certainly weren’t kidding.

After teasing the new utility vehicle for several weeks we’ve finally gotten a close-up look at the mid-range crossover ahead of its formal debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Tuesday and it’s loaded with high-tech features, including Infiniti’s new, semi-autonomous ProPilot driver assistance system. But what’s likely to catch even more attention is the world’s first variable-compression engine.

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Dubbed the VC-Turbo, the Japanese luxury brand claims the engine is “the next major step in optimizing efficiency and emissions of the internal combustion engine, literally transforming between power and efficiency on demand.” (more…)

Are You the New Infiniti QX50?

Luxury marque teases “most advanced car ever” ahead of LA Auto Show.

by on Nov.21, 2017

Infiniti teases an important new offering it will reveal at the LA Auto Show next week.

Well, we do know we’ll see the Infiniti QX80 at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week, after it made a world debut at the Dubai Auto Show earlier in November. But that doesn’t tell us much about the curious teaser Nissan’s luxury brand sent out today.

We’ve already been told that the vehicle whose grille and headlight we see will be the brand’s “most advanced car ever,” but it almost certainly isn’t a sedan or coupe. The nose is just too tall and upright. So, that would suggest the automaker means a car-based crossover.

Filling in the Blanks!

“As with all Infinitis,” the latest release tells us, in the words of global design boss Alfonso Albaisa, “we have been inspired by our desire to drive, expressed with power and artistry. With this all-new model, inspiration comes from striking the perfect balance between lust and logic. At a glance, seamless and sculptural, getting closer to the car reveals an ingenious blend of proportion and space.”

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Infiniti Goes Forward into the Past with Retro-Futuristic Prototype 9.

Modern take on old racer integrates future electric drivetrain.

by on Aug.14, 2017

The Infiniti Prototype 9.

Grand prix racer or classic Indy 500 entry? You might get to wondering when you get your first look at the Infiniti Prototype 9, especially if that happens out at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance next weekend.

But despite going to the world’s most famous classic car event to reveal one-seat racer, this is not a competitor to one of the original Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows. What Infiniti is calling “a journey back in time,” is actually a completely modern take, down to its fully electric drivetrain.

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“Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, on whose shoulders we stand today,” says Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti’s Senior Vice President, Global Design.

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First Drive: 2018 Infiniti Q50

A few new tricks from a not-that-old sedan.

by on Jul.21, 2017

Once known as the G model, the Infiniti Q50 remains the brand's top-selling model.

There always seems to be that one product that truly represents a brand: in the luxury category the list is likely to include the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Audi A6. Despite its rapidly expanding line-up and the growing shift from passenger cars to SUVs, the Q50 is the model most folks are likely to think about when talk turns to Infiniti.

In various incarnations, it dates back to the earliest days of the brand and has been the brand’s best-seller since the days when it was known by such designations as the G30 and G35. Now dubbed the Q50, the sedan has remained Infiniti’s top model since undergoing a complete makeover in 2016. And now, just two years later, it’s getting a welcome, if not extensive, mid-cycle update.

The Last Word!

The 2018 refresh of the Infiniti Q50 isn’t going to deliver any major surprises. There are some modest exterior and interior visual updates, some additional technology and subtle changes to the unique drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering System. There’s also a new hierarchy of trim levels, starting with the now base-level Q50 Pure, and running up to the top-line Q50 Red Sport 400.

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Infiniti Testing Luxury Utility Water with QX80 Monograph

Concept likely to translate closely into luxury maker's next full-size SUV.

by on Apr.11, 2017

The Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept debuted in New York, revealing some potential future plans for the brand.

Infiniti is making some big news coming in the Big Apple with the debut of its largest and most luxurious SUV ever, the QX80 Monograph.

Officially just a “concept,” company insiders don’t hide the fact that it’s likely to translate into a production model in the not-too-distant future. The Monograph is meant to give the big ute a bit more modern presence while also moving the QX80 more up-market.

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“The QX80 represents a detailed study into our expertise of exterior design,” said Roland Krueger, the president of the Infiniti brand. It “shows our concept of luxury and style on the road, and is an exploration of how we could enhance our Infiniti offering in the luxury SUV segment.” (more…)