Infiniti will launch two high-performance flagship models says boss Johan de Nysschen, featuring powertrains developing as much as 600bhp.
Infiniti has been considering a flagship model for several years, both the Essence and Emerg-e sports concept cars being explorations of the issue. But production versions of the Emerg-e and Essence “will not be coming,” says de Nysschen.
Instead, there will be a “high performance flagship positioned well above the Q70 saloon, and also a halo high-performance car for the brand.” One will have “multiple seats”, by which he means more than two, while the other will be more sports orientated.
Speaking at the Detroit motor show, de Nysschen said: “It will not be mid-engined like the Emerg-e, nor a hybrid. We’ve got to use the powertrain in more than one car for economies of scale reasons, so it can’t be mid-engined. With these models launched, Infiniti will have a range spanning outputs of “160bhp to 600bhp.”
Infiniti’s mainstream model range is also developing fast, “although the growth won’t begin yet,” says de Nysschen. “But the new product cadence will be very strong from 2016 through to 2019, with two major launches every year - we’re having to stagger the launches to give our engineers breathing space.”
The first major model will be the Q30 crossover, which goes into production in late 2015, after that come replacements for the Q60 coupé and convertible - these will retain their elegant, sophisticated look, says Nissan design chief Shiro Nakamura - and a model jointly engineered with Mercedes. “But the next two years will be very demanding,” says de Nysschen. “We’ve got to upgrade our dealers and exploit the new Q50 and QX60 while the rest of the range is ageing.”