I’ve just been on a quick trip to Japan for a look into the future of Infiniti, Nissan’s premium brand. If you know much about the brand, you’d probably be forgiven for being pretty cynical about its prospects.

After all, Infiniti was launched in 1989, the same year as Lexus, and had similar aims: a new brand, dedicated to luxury, quality and upmarket dealer service. But while Lexus has a history of notable models and a reputation for mega-quality, Infiniti does not have nearly the brand recognition of its rival.

It’s no surprise. Infiniti has been almost entirely confined to the US. It’s also never had anything like the distinctive products from which Lexus has benefited over the past quarter of a century. It’s also had a fair few oddities, such as the 1990 US-market Infiniti G20, which was a badge-engineered version of the then-new European market Nissan Primera.