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.