Renault-Nissan's tie-up with Daimler has spawned a crucial Mercedes-supplied four-cylinder diesel engine for the new Infiniti Q50 saloon, revaled today at the Geneva motor show.
The new BMW 3-series-rivalling Q50 replaces the G37 saloon. The G37 was hampered by only ever being offered with a thirsty V6 petrol engine, but the Mercedes-sourced diesel in the Q50 should make it a much more competitive offering.
The 2143cc turbodiesel engine is familiar from a wide range of Mercedes models, including the C-class and E-class. In the Q50, the direct-injection oil-burner produces 168bhp and 295lb ft of torque. It sends power to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic gearbox, both also Mercedes-sourced.
Final figures are yet to be confirmed, but the Q50 2.2d is expected to crack 0-62mph in less than nine seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph. Combined economy of 64mpg is expected, as are CO2 emissions of less than 115g/km.
When European sales of the Q50 begin in the autumn, a hybrid version will also be offered. It will mate a V6 petrol engine to an electric motor for a combined 359bhp. This set-up will be offered in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive forms.
De Nysschen said "If I had to pick one German saloon as a target, it would be the BMW 3-series. But the truth is that the Q50 should attract a more confident, successful and youthful buyer than the German rivals.
"Our buyers look for a car that reflects their individuality and difference; not one that's such a common badge of status and success."
Infiniti has yet to make a notable dent in any of its rivals sales, however, with the brand remaining oft-overlooked. "I don't like to talk about sales targets", commented de Nysschen. "We're facing a long uphill journey in Europe, and we must build the brand before anything else.
"I would rather sell 200,000 cars in Europe without pushing them into the market, than 250,000 the wrong way. If we do our jobs well, over time, the volume will come."