Audi Q3-sized concept will be built in Britain from 2015, set to use the same MFA platform as Mercedes A-class
8 September 2013

A concept version of the new Infiniti Q30, a crossover hatchback planned to spearhead a significant sales breakthrough in the UK market, has been unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show today.

Based on Mercedes' new front-drive A-class platform, the Q30 features a slightly raised ride height, sweeping roofline and confident styling, all aimed at younger buyers who are predicted to make-up 80 per cent of global luxury car-buyers by 2020.

Global production will be concentrated at Sunderland with a volume of 50k per year from 2015, with exports to China and North America included in the volume, giving Britain’s resurgent car-making industry a further boost.

The Q30 will become Infiniti’s second-biggest seller behind the new Q50, currently built in a volume of around 65k per year.

Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti president, said "The shape of the Infiniti Q30 concept deliberately challenges categorisation. It is not a coupe, not a hatch and not a crossover so that it will appeal to younger customers who desire to disrupt convention."

Infiniti's Q30 concept is described as 95 per cent faithful to the 2015 production version on both exterior and interior styling.

The styling is the work of a team led by Infiniti’s head of design Alfonso Albaisa, who once headed Nissan’s European studio in Paddington where the smash hit Juke and Qashqai were designed.

Albaisa describes the Q30 as having 'contours sculpted with fluidity' and the side profile as having 'artistry and ambition.'

Externally, the Q30 has a rising beltline and sheet metal decorated with sharp-edged styling features. Infiniti’s designers say these ambitious shapes can be pressed in production sheet metal and that manufacturing engineers in Japan are working flat out to make them a reality.

"The aim was to sculpt the panel surfaces as if they were hand-formed by craftsmen in an Italian coachbuilding workshop," added Albaisa.

The Q30 concept goes a long way towards fulfilling earlier predictions that the production hatch will incorporate elements of the Audi A3 and Q3.

Cues from the A3 come in the form of a sweeping roofline and hatchback proportions, while the Audi Q3 is reflected in the raised ride height and slightly elevated driving position.

At 4.46m long, 1470mm high and 1850mm wide, the Q30 is 168mm longer, 83mm wider and 50mm taller than an A3. The driver's hip point is raised compared to the A-Class, and the overall height increased by 37mm compared to the new Benz.

Although the fact that the hatch wears a 'Q' badge from Infiniti's new naming scheme indicates that the company considers it a hatchback not a soft-roader. The latter would have been accompanied by a 'QX' designation.

The interior is also a break from tradition. Infiniti talks about 'dissymmetry', which it says 'orients design features like air vents and instrument clusters for more sculpted visual appeal'. To the more casual observer, the interior looks asymmetric with non-symmetrical shapes and features on the dashboard and its details.

Infiniti is promising that the concept’s high quality and well-finished interior will go into production 'very closely' to the design study.

Click here for more Frankfurt motor show news.

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2

9 September 2013

Infiniti's rather odd backwards hoffmeister's kink showing up on newer models actually looks more natural and at home on this model.
It's nice that the overworked pinched hourglass grille that is very similar to Lexus' is very downplayed here and looking very handsome, though the front end looks like a marriage of Mazda and Jaguar.

10 September 2013

Looks amazing. How this bears any resemblance to an Audi A3 is beyond me as suggested in the photo captions! This is the anti A3 if ever there was one!

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