The all-new Infiniti G-series saloon will be offered with four-cylinder Mercedes diesel and petrol engines right from the start of its launch in 2013.
The new BMW 3-series rival, along with a new Audi A3 rival due in 2015, are key to Nissan’s luxury arm realising its ambitious growth targets in Europe.
The current G-series saloon, and its coupe and cabriolet siblings, are only available with a thirsty 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine, meaning its European sales barely even the trouble the scorers in a market where four-cylinder diesel models rule.
“We’ll make sure the right engines are in the car right from the start,” said Tony Lewis, Infiniti’s regional director for northern Europe.
The new G-series will also be the model to usher in Infiniti’s new design language, most recently previewed on the acclaimed Emerg-E concept.
Infiniti plans to sell half a million cars worldwide in 2016; in 2011, it sold 145,000 units. UK sales were just 500 units in 2011, but the new G-series and front-drive A3 rival will form the core of an expanded Infiniti line-up that is predicted to boost UK volume to 20,000 units by 2016.
The A3 rival was previewed by the Infiniti Etherea concept at the 2011 Geneva motor show. It will be built on the Daimler MFA platform that also underpins the A-class and B-class among other small Mercs. The small Mercedes range will also lend its engine line-up to Infiniti’s first-ever front-drive car.
To further boost sales, Infiniti plans to boost its European dealer network to 230 by 2016, up from 55 now. A further 35 are planned in Europe by March 2013.