Infiniti recently confirmed that its Q30 will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. What it hadn’t done is offer us a first look at the “Premium Active Compact,” other than an image of a heavily camouflaged model undergoing track testing. That’s an omission it now has corrected.
The debut will come four years after the original Q30 concept made its debut in Frankfurt, and the initial image from Infiniti suggests the street version will retain much of the show car’s design cues.
The production model slots into a niche below the midsize Infiniti Q50, but even the maker’s senior designer admitted, during the unveiling of the original concept, that the Q30 “defies characterization.” That’s in keeping with Infiniti’s tradition of launching quirky designs that aren’t just me-too copies of European competitors.
“Design is a key pillar of the Infiniti brand, and the new Q30 Active Compact perfectly embodies this approach,” said Infiniti president Roland Krueger. “The Q30 Active Compact delivers the distinctive design, the driving dynamics and the individuality that our customers expect of an Infiniti vehicle. With our first ever entry in the compact car segment, we continue the product offensive and provide additional options for our discerning customers.”
Some of the more distinctive elements of the production 2017 Infiniti Q30 include the long nose, short overhangs and high beltline. It carries over the concept’s split grille and distinctive, almost human eye-like headlights.
(Click Here to check out the CUV version of the Active Compact, the Infiniti QX30 Concept.)
We still don’t have any images of the interior, but expect to see here a bit more a toned-down version of the Q30 concept. The show car interior which featured separate zones for driver and front passenger – a layout Infiniti chief designer Alfonso Albaisa described as “horizontal dissymmetry.”
(Infiniti named top-ranked Japanese brand for initial quality by J.D. Power. Click Here for more.)
The Q30 will go on sale in Europe before year-end, “with other markets to follow subsequently,” the maker said in a statement. That apparently means a mid-2016 debut in the U.S. as a 2017 model-year offering. It will be followed soon after by the debut of the Infiniti QX30. That model will be a bit more ute-like in appearance, based on a recent concept version.
But both the Infiniti Q30 and the QX30 will share the same basic underpinnings which, in turn, will be borrowed from Mercedes-Benz which developed the platform for models such as its own compact CLA and GLA siblings.
Parent Daimler AG is part of a rapidly expanding joint venture with the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance. In turn, Infiniti is providing a 4-cylinder engine for use in Mercedes models assembled at the German maker’s plant in Alabama.
The two Infiniti models are expected to be powered by the same 2.0-liter turbo-four engine and 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox found in the base Mercedes CLA/GLA pair.
The Infiniti Q30 will target one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments, going up against a range of new entries including the likes of the Mercedes CLA and the BMW 2-Series.
Production reportedly will be based at the plant run by parent Nissan in Sunderland, UK. The Q30 also will be exported to the Chinese market.
(Infiniti stretches QX50 for 2016. Click Here to check it out.)