With the launch of its new Q50 sedan, Infiniti is quite literally steering a new course as it tries to navigate out of the second-tier of luxury brands and take on better-known high-line marques like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.
The Q50 replaces the old Infiniti G series and initiates an all-new alphanumeric naming strategy. It also introduces the world’s first steer-by-wire technology, among a variety of other high-tech features being added to the new sedan.
But whether potential buyers take to the new Direct Adaptive Steering system remains to be seen, and analysts warn that Infiniti risks serious confusion as it rebrands existing models to conform to the new nomenclature – something that has caused serious problems for Honda’s Acura and Ford’s Lincoln when they also abandoned more familiar model names.
“We know we’ll face challenges in the short-term but there are tremendous opportunities in the long-term,” said Robb Simmons, Infiniti’s senior marketing manager, during a media preview of the new Q50 line.