As we’ve begun to see over the past few days, this year’s motor show season won’t likely be a boring one. Already we’ve previewed several new cars and concepts to keep an eye out for in the upcoming 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and today we add one more to that tally. Early this morning, Infiniti published a press release and media set previewing their newest premium concept, the Infiniti Q30.
Go ahead and take some time to soak in the rendering.
As you can see, the Infiniti Q30 Concept rendering depicts a new premium compact car, something that Infiniti’s long been interested in adding to their European portfolio. What you might not realize is that this is the follow-up to three different Concepts, primarily the Infiniti Etherea Concept that originally debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The car also gets inspiration from 2009’s Essence Concept and 2012’s Emerg-e Concept.
Clearly Infiniti has fully embraced an aggressive aesthetic in the two years since the original Etherea. The rendered Q30 features ‘swoopier’ exterior lines, more slanted headlights, a larger grill, a higher belt-line and possibly a lower ride. It looks like the butt has been beefed up a bit too, with the roofline extending further over the back of the car, more hatchback than sedan.
The Q30 Concept becomes even more impressive when you know who’s behind the car’s progression. This is the first vehicle from Infiniti’s new head design director, Alfonso Albaisa. And if that weren’t enough, this is also the first premium car fully built under the oversight of Infiniti’s new Director of Performance and storied F1 racer, Sebastian Vettel, who aims to infuse ‘race-bred performance’ into the brand’s lineup. Well, that’s the marketing spiel anyway.
With two noteworthy figures making their debut, the press release makes it clear that the Q30 Concept is the first step in an overall thematic adjustment for the Japanese luxury brand. The President of Infiniti Motor Company, Johan de Nysschen, said, “[The] Infiniti Q30 Concept is a prelude to the product portfolio expansion which underpins our aggressive global growth strategy… The Infiniti Q30 Concept has a distinctive style and reaches new levels of product quality.”
But, the Infiniti Q30 represents more than a shift in design… When the car goes on sale in (likely) 2015, it’s to be a legitimate competitor in the premium compact segment. With Vettel’s involvement, Infiniti can confidently declare that the Q30 will be unlike any other compact in the premium segment. Alfonso Albaisa proudly describes their achievement, “When you see speedy big cats, like cheetahs, they have a slenderness and a lightweight stride. It’s almost like they’re floating. That’s the muscularity we were aiming for with Q30 Concept.”
If the Infiniti Q30 drives anything like the explosive-but-graceful cheetah that Albaisa compares it too, then brands like BMW and Audi had best prepare for a fight. After all, Europeans can’t keep buying European cars forever! Although, Detroit wouldn’t agree with that statement. Either way, stay tuned for September 10th when we’ll get the full scoop on the Infiniti Q30 Concept and all the jungle cat goodness it entails.
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