Infiniti still planning a sports car

* Infiniti wants image-building sports car * Q30 hatch coming in 2015 * Priced to compete with Audi A3...

Infiniti still planning a sports car

Infiniti is not ruling out putting a sports car onto the market, senior sources have revealed to What Car?.

Company insiders believe that a performance model is essential to boosting the image of the brand. The company has ruled out a development of the electric, mid-engined Emerg-E sports car, but a more conventional Porsche Boxster rival is thought to be favoured.

The next Infiniti to appear in showrooms will be the Q30 hatchback, arriving 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, so closer to the stance of an Audi Q3 or BMW X1.

The Q30 hatch will be priced to compete with the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series, according to our sources, so a starting price of around £22,000 is likely.

Work has already started on replacing Infiniti’s range of larger saloons and SUVs. However, a senior source admitted to What Car? that even though the Q30 is front-wheel drive, the layout is 'not an appropriate format for our bigger saloons'.

'The soon-to-be-launched Q50 is rear or four-wheel drive, so will be the replacement for the Q70,' he said.

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