Posts Tagged ‘esq’

New 2015 Infiniti ESQ Unleased in the Chinese Market

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 5th, 2014

The world’s second-largest Japanese automaker, Nissan, continues to expand their global presence with surprising frequency. Last week they introduced the Datsun mi-DO, a new budget friendly hatchback for the Russian market, and this week they’ve unveiled the Infiniti ESQ exclusively for the Chinese market.

The reveal comes at the 2014 Chengdu Auto Show, where the trend of the year is scantily clad women and luxury cars. The Infiniti ESQ wasn’t the only new premium vehicle on display, but it’s definitely one of the most eye-catching. See for yourself below:

Infiniti ESQ Crossover

Look familiar?

That’s probably because the Infiniti ESQ is essentially a pre-facelift Nissan Juke NISMO in disguise. The quirky Juke crossover has never been available for sale in China, so Infiniti decided to introduce the car in upgraded luxury form. According to their release, Infiniti is hoping to take the fun-factor of the Nissan Juke and bring it to China’s “new millennials”, which is a very important customer group to the brand’s expansion.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what separates the Nissan Juke NISMO from the new Infiniti ESQ premium crossover. But, let’s start with what’s stayed the same – the powertrain.

2015 Infiniti ESQ Crossover

The ESQ runs on the Juke NISMO’s exhilarating 197hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a performance-tuned CVT and optional all-wheel drive. With that, the ESQ boasts a 0-60 speed of 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 134mph. Meanwhile, the turbocharger helps the lux crossover maintain a cool 40mpg and keeps CO2 emissions around 159g/km… Not exactly Prius-level, but not too shabby either.

Infiniti ESQ Powertrain

As you may be able to detect in the above images, the Infiniti ESQ uses a fairly extensive body kit to achieve a more interesting, premium look, distinct from Nissan’s Juke NISMO. The ESQ gets an even sportier look than the Juke with a rear diffuser, a sport exhaust pipe, totally redesigned head- and taillights, plenty of chrome trim and a restyled mesh grille. Plus, Infiniti’s done a number of aerodynamic tweaks to boost fuel economy, and the ESQ rides on new 18-inch allows with plenty of ESQ badging all around the body.

Infiniti ESQ Interior

Inside, the changes are a little less dominant. The Infiniti ESQ loses the Juke NISMO’s Alcantara steering wheel and high-contrast color-scheme in favor of upscale leather seats with classy white stitching. The crossover retains all of the Juke’s tech. appointments, including the infotainment system, climate control and three variable driving modes.

The Infiniti ESQ will go on sale in China at the beginning of next month for between 200,000 and 300,000 Yuan, which for reference is about $32,000 to $49,000. However, word has it that the ESQ is only the first of many new offerings that Infiniti is readying for the Chinese market, including the Q50L and a possible new QX70, just to name a couple.

New Infiniti ESQ Luxury Crossover to Launch in China

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Today Infiniti released their first teaser images of a brand-new luxury crossover they’re planning to launch exclusively in the Chinese market. It’s called the Infiniti ESQ, and CEO Johan De Nysschen described it to our friends at Jalopnik as an “irreverent lifestyle car for the hedonistic rebel.”

Are you getting excited yet? You should be; it’s not very often that we get a brand-new Infiniti to talk about completely out of the blue.

Infiniti ESQ Grille

Unfortunately, this new Infiniti ESQ luxury crossover isn’t actually a new vehicle… At least, not by the strictest definition of the word. Instead, it’s essentially a rebadged, premium-spec Nissan Juke NISMO.

If you’re anything like me, the thought of a rebadged Infiniti isn’t very appealing. After all, it seems like a rip off at first glance, and we’re not the only ones who feel that way. So, why is Infiniti risking their brand’s image with this endeavor?

Glad you asked. There are three reasons, actually.

First, De Nysschen importantly notes that China is home to the largest youth premium market in the world, and it’s getting bigger every year. There’s a big reward for building a brand presence there.

Second, the Nissan juke isn’t available in China anyways, so it’s not like they’re double-dipping.

Finally, Infiniti has already been considering a new “youth-oriented premium compact” for larger international markets. The new Infiniti ESQ is essentially an experiment to test the market’s response to this kind of car before they “sink a fortune into an untried concept.”

Infiniti ESQ Wheels

Looking through the images that Infiniti has provided for us, there are a few key features that distinguish the Infiniti ESQ from the ‘normal’ Nissan Juke NISMO. The Juke’s V-motion grille has been replaced in favor of a wavy mesh grille that’s much more becoming of an Infiniti. As you might expect, snazzy ESQ and Infiniti badging can be found throughout the design, and the Juke’s 18-inch 10-spoke NISMO wheels have been chrome-finished.

We don’t actually have any images of the new Infiniti ESQ’s interior other than the below image of the crossover’s dash. From the looks of it, it’s identical to the Juke NISMO’s dash save for the Infiniti logo on the steering wheel. Still, we assume that the interior’s materials/colors/tech. have all received minor upgrades to help the ESQ feel like a more refined version of its purely performance-oriented counterpart.

Infiniti ESQ Dash

Whatever your feelings are about cross-brand badging, hopefully you can appreciate the new Infiniti ESQ for what it is – an experiment that could lead to something bigger down the road. Either way, we’re willing to bet that there are plenty of young, hedonistic Chinese drivers who are ready and willing to fork over plenty of Yen for one of these new luxury crossovers.