Infiniti is downsizing its ambitions, entering the booming market for small luxury cars with the new Q30. And after giving us a first look at the exterior of the new “active compact,” it is offering an inside look at the new model, as well.
Set to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 15th, the Infiniti Q30 picks up many of the design cues first seen when it unveiled a concept model in Frankfurt two years ago. That includes the long nose, short overhangs and high beltline, as well as the concept’s split grille and distinctive, almost human eye-like headlights.
Inside, the production version of the Q30 isn’t quite as radical as the 2013 Frankfurt show car, but still should turn some heads, with a more expressive and upscale look than many entries in this near-luxury segment. That includes an Italian-made, suede-like material called Dinamica.
“Q30’s sculpted exterior and asymmetric cabin design are unmistakably Infiniti,” said the brand’s global President Roland Krueger in a statement accompanying these images.
It’s a layout a that Infiniti chief designer Alfonso Albaisa has described as “horizontal dissymmetry.”
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The images released by Infiniti appear to show a particularly well-equipped version of the new Q30, with a combination of double-stitched leather and Dinamica, which is similar to the popular Alcantara fabric found in many high-line vehicles today.
A large videoscreen tops the center stack, and a rotary controller appears to be seated just behind the gear shifter. The Q30 shown offers a dual-zone climate control, as well.
Infiniti notes the new model features a higher seating position , “aiding the in-control sense.”
That’s not entirely surprising. The Infiniti Q30 will share its platform with a somewhat more ute-like new model to be called the QX30. The two Japanese entries, meanwhile, are based on a small car platform developed by Daimler AG, which has formed an expansive alliance with Infiniti’s parent, Nissan, and France’s Renault.
In turn, Infiniti is providing a 4-cylinder engine for use in Mercedes C-Class models assembled at the German maker’s plant in Alabama.
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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.
The Infiniti Q30 will go on sale in Europe before year-end, “with other markets to follow subsequently,” the maker recently confirmed. 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 QX30.
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