Infiniti needs a sports car to boost the company’s image, Nissan’s Global Planning Chief Andy Palmer, has admitted to What Car?.
Speaking on the eve of the global unveil of the new Nissan Qashqai, Palmer admitted that the company’s luxury brand had a tough job to attract customers away from the German prestige brands, but a ‘halo’ model was part of the plan.
‘Our halo model should be a sports car,’ he said, ‘but it should be premium, rather than luxury with a maximum price of around £100,000’.
Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura also revealed that the previous Essence and Emerge-E concept cars will give a clue to to the look of the eventual production car, and that any Infiniti sports car will be front-engined and rear- or four-wheel drive. In the past company insiders have hinted that it could share an architecture with the Nissan GT-R super-coupe.’
The next Infiniti to arrive, though, is the Q30 hatchback, in 2015. The Audi A3-rivalling car will be previewed by a concept at the Frankfurt motor show and will be built in the UK using Mercedes A-Class engines and architecture. The final production car is likely to be higher-riding than a standard hatchback however, and so closer to the stance of an Audi Q3 or BMW X1.