Next Infiniti flagship won't be an SUV

* Most expensive Infiniti won't be an SUV * Next flagship could be a supercar * Range expanded to 14 models by 2020...

Next Infiniti flagship won't be an SUV

The next flagship car for Infiniti's model range will be a premium-priced sports car, coupe or saloon, rather than a luxury SUV. The new car will spearhead Infiniti’s plan to carve out a 10% share of the global luxury car market by 2020.

The flagship is widely rumoured to be a hybrid supercar with technical input from Red Bull Racing, but there is still no official word from Infiniti on the car's layout.

The company's president, Johan de Nysschen said, 'I’ll leave you to decide whether our new flagship is a saloon, coupe or supercar, but it will be car. We won’t have an SUV like it is now'.

Infiniti has built concept versions of both a supercar and a coupe - the Emerg-E and the Essence. The Emerg-E supercar makes a more logical link with the F1 sponsorship of Red Bull Racing.

At the moment, Infiniti’s most expensive model is the QX80, a full-sized, seven-seat SUV sold mainly in the US, with a list price of up to $65,000.

The new flagship is an integral part of an expansion plan that kicks off at Frankfurt this week with the debut of the Q30 concept, a high-riding hatchback to rival the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

Infiniti’s nine-model range will be expanded to 14 models by 2020, with a sales projection of up to 500,000 cars per year.

'We have no ambition to expand Infiniti to one million or 1.5m cars per year, but we will have a very healthy business when we approach 400- to 500,000,' added de Nysschen.

By Julian Rendell

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