Infiniti To Launch New Q50 in Detroit

Replacement for G Sedan first to adopt new naming strategy.

by on Jan.10, 2013

Infiniti will reveal the rest of the new Q50 at Detroit's Cobo Center next week.

With a performance by the celebrated Cirque du Soleil to kick things off, Infiniti will reveal the first model launched under its all-new naming strategy – and its newly aggressive global growth plans – when it unveils the Q50 sedan at the Detroit Auto Show next week.

The replacement for the aging, though still popular G-series sedan will be loosely based on the Infiniti Emerg-E concept shown last year.  Significantly, the 2014 Infiniti Q50 will be the first of the maker’s products to be developed as part of a rapidly expanding joint venture between Nissan, Renault and new alliance partner Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz.

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The Infiniti brand has been undergoing massive change as Nissan struggles to build it into a true tier-one luxury marque.  Infiniti has gotten its own design and engineering resources, a new headquarters in Hong Kong and a new approach to naming its products developed by new CEO Johan de Nysschen, the former head of Audi’s North American operations.

The Infiniti Emerg-E concept car.

All passenger car models will have names beginning with Q starting with the 2014 model-year, all light trucks and crossover adopting the QX designation.  The G sedan line will debut as the new Infiniti Q50 during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with the G- coupe and convertible models to follow under the Q60 alphanumeric code.

The replacement for the G models will be based on a platform developed as part of the Nissan, Renault and Daimler partnership.  The makers are jointly developing a wide range of products that also will include a replacement for Daimler’s aging Smart fortwo.

With U.S. sales up 21.8% last year, Infiniti has been gaining momentum after years lagging at the back of the luxury pack.  It is particularly focused on opportunities in China, a key reason its new headquarters was located in Hong Kong.

As part of its ongoing transformation, the brand expects to add a number of additional products, including a new flagship sedan likely to replace the current top-line M56.  It could be the first model to use a new high-tech 3.0-liter V-6 that will use twin turbocharging to deliver a reported 550 horsepower.

Infiniti is putting a push on both edgy design and high technology to help distinguish itself from its key competitors, such as Lexus.  In fact, the new Q50 could be the first car in the Nissan subsidiary’s line-up to opt for a new digital steer-by-wire system that eliminated the direct mechanical link between the steering wheel and the vehicle’s wheels.

Nissan showed off the technology during a media drive last autumn and suggested it would show up in production form within the next several years – without confirming specific model plans.

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