Infiniti Q30 Set to Debut at Frankfurt Motor Show

Luxury brand offers “spy shot” of its first-ever compact model.

by on Jun.19, 2015

The first official image of the 2016 Infiniti Q30 undergoing testing and validation in camouflage.

Exactly two years after first unveiling a concept version of the Q30 sedan, Infiniti will pull the wraps off the production model at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and the automaker is providing its own “spy shot” to give a hint of what’s coming.

The question is what, precisely, the Q30 is? The production model slots into a niche below the midsize Infiniti Q50, but even the maker’s senior designer admitted, during the unveiling of the original concept, that the Q30 “defies characterization.” That’s in keeping with Infiniti’s tradition of launching quirky designs that aren’t just me-too copies of European competitors.

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The camouflaged model appears to pick up on the basic language of the five-door show car version, with a long nose, short overhangs and a high beltline. Though the pic doesn’t show the face of the new model, it is expected to also carry over the split grille and distinctive, squinting, almost human eye-like headlights from the concept model.

Inside, expect to see a toned-down version of the concept’s interior which featured separate zones for driver and front passenger – a layout Infiniti chief designer Alfonso Albaisa described as “horizontal dissymmetry.”

The concept version of the Infiniti Q30.

The Q30 will go on sale in Europe before year-end, “with other markets to follow subsequently,” the maker said in a statement. It will be followed soon after by the debut of the Infiniti QX30. That model will be a bit more ute-like in appearance, based on a recent concept version.

(Click Here to check out the concept version of the Infiniti QX30 at its Geneva debut earlier this year.)

But both the Infiniti Q30 and the QX30 will share the same basic underpinnings which, in turn, will be borrowed from Mercedes-Benz which developed the platform for models such as its own compact CLA and GLA siblings.

Parent Daimler AG is part of a rapidly expanding joint venture with the Euro-Asian Renault-Nissan Alliance. In turn, Infiniti is providing a 4-cylinder engine for use in Mercedes models assembled at the German maker’s plant in Alabama.

(Infiniti named top-ranked Japanese brand for initial quality by J.D. Power. Click Here for more.)

Both the Q30 and the QX30, shown here, are based on a small luxury car architecture developed by Mercedes.

The two Infiniti models are expected to be powered by the same 2.0-liter turbo-four engine found in the base Mercedes CLA/GLA pair.

The Infiniti Q30 will target one of the world’s fastest-growing market segments, going up against a range of new entries including the likes of the Mercedes CLA and the BMW 2-Series.

Production reportedly will be based at the plant run by parent Nissan in Sunderland, UK. The Q30 also will be exported to the Chinese market.

(Infiniti stretches QX50 for 2016. Click Here to check it out.)

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