Alongside its new engine, Infiniti also showed its 2017 Q50 ahead of sales commencing later this year, as well as its QX Sport Inspiration, which returned to the spotlight for the first time since Beijing.
The Q50 has been lightly updated for the next model year, with a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine delivering 300bhp and 295lb ft the biggest change added to the European line-up.
The QX Sport Inspiration arrives as the influencer for a new medium-sized global SUV — a replacement for the ageing QX50 that will arrive sometime in 2018.
Infiniti intends to roll out ever greater levels of driver assistance and autonomy on its full range of vehicles between now and the end of decade. Brand sources claim that Infiniti has long led the industry in driver assistance, being the first to launch Lane Keep Assist (in 2001) and Lane Departure Warning (in 2004), as well as the autonomy-friendly ‘steer by wire’ set-up in 2014.
Infiniti’s new model roll-out started last year with the Q30 hatchback and QX30 compact. A new SUV, autonomous tech and an advanced new V6 engine are set to lead brand’s global growth. The first production site for these cars was the Nissan plant in Sunderland, but a new factory in Mexico — a joint venture between Daimler and Infiniti — will begin producing the Q30 and QX30 next year for tariff-free export to the US.
The US and China are seen as the two biggest potential premium markets for Infiniti, so the new Q60 coupé, which goes into production in August, is expected to give the brand a significant boost. It’s a more sophisticated and luxury-orientated replacement for the current Q60, which dates back to 2007 and is based on the brand’s well-regarded but ageing Front Mid-Ship rear-wheel drive platform.
The rear-wheel-drive Q60 will be offered with the brand new twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine, which produces 300bhp and 295lb. All-wheel drive will also be available as an option.
Shiro Nakamura, the Nissan group’s chief creative officer, said earlier this year that new Infiniti models under development will have a design emphasis on surface treatments that make the cars’ skins “look like worked metal”. Much of the inspiration comes from the golden age of the ‘Italian Carrozzeria’ — the classic design houses of the 1950s and 1960s.