New models include a Merc S-class-sized limo and an all-wheel-drive seven-seat SUV
27 March 2009

A Mercedes S-class-sized limousine, a new all-wheel-drive seven-seat SUV and an all-electric entry-level model are in the pipeline for growing Japanese premium car maker Infiniti.

2010: an all-new ‘M’-badged 5-series-chaser

Next year, we’ll see the introduction of the Japanese firm’s all-new ‘M’-badged mid-size executive saloon.

This car will be engineered to accept Infiniti’s 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine, and its forthcoming 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel – although both the EX and FX SUVs will get the V6 oil-burner V6 before that.

A hybrid petrol-electric version of the M is also in the pipeline, but has yet to be confirmed for Europe. No V8 options are currently planned.

The new M will be launched at the 2010 Geneva motor show.

2011: a brand new flagship SUV

A new QX large SUV will be launched the following year. This car will sit above the FX, offer four driven wheels and seat seven in comfort.

Like the current QX56, the sheer size of the new model will make it much more suited to the Russian and American markets than the narrow roads of the UK. It’s likely to be available to western European buyers only via special order.

However, another Infiniti seven-seater may be along before too long. A lower, sleeker seven-seat model is in the pipeline and if it’s approved it could be on sale before 2015.

2012: Infiniti goes after the Quattroporte

Three years from now, Infiniti will launch two all-new saloons: a flagship limousine, and the replacement for the current G37 small saloon.

The firm’s biggest four-door will be badged ‘Q’ and will take over from the Q45 saloon that Infiniti discontinued in 2006.

The next G-badged model family should account for the majority of Infiniti’s European sales. Little detail is known, other than that diesel engines will not feature in the G range until this new model arrives.

Beyond 2012: an electric 1-series-fighter?

Infiniti’s most distant plans currently include a battery-powered compact model, although building it is still very much an ambition for the company rather than a concrete part of the product schedule.

In order to be effective as an electric car it would have to be reasonably small, low and aerodynamically efficient. However, in order to be a true Infiniti it will also have to have either rear or four-wheel drive.

Matt Saunders

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