15 April 2004

Nissan has unveiled the BMW 5-series rival that is expected to spearhead the launch of its Infiniti luxury division in the UK.

The Infiniti M45 – shown as a close-to-production concept at last week’s New York Motor Show – could be on sale here as early as 2007.

Nissan is still formalising plans for the European launch of its Infiniti luxury division, but current estimates are that it will happen in 2007 or 2008.

The main hurdle will be sourcing a large-capacity turbodiesel for the M45. With no suitable engine available from partner Renault, Nissan is believed to be investigating possible joint ventures with other car makers.

When the production M45 goes on sale in the US next spring – Nissan already has its Infiniti division established Stateside – it will be offered as a rear-drive 4.5-litre V8, and rear- or all-wheel drive 3.5-litre V6.

The M45 is based on a modified version of Nissan’s so-called FM (Front Midship) platform, currently used in Infiniti’s G35 saloon and coupé, and FX45 crossover 4x4.Power will come from Nissan’s 32-valve 4.5-litre V8 producing 340bhp, or a 260bhp version of its 3.5-litre V6 from the 350Z sports car.

The new M45 will have to compete with such established rivals as the BMW 5-series, Mercedes E-class, the new Jaguar S-type and Lexus GS.

The concept shown at the New York show featured Nissan’s new Lane Departure Warning system, which warns drivers of a pending unintended lane departure.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again