Posts Tagged ‘Q50’

New Infiniti Q50L Sedan Coming to China this Fall

Posted by Stephen On Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Infiniti is definitely living up to their name this week with a seemingly endless amount of new Japanese cars to talk about. Today they released the first image of a new version of their Q50 saloon. It’s called the Infiniti Q50L, and it will be exclusive to the Chinese market when it makes its official debut at the 2014 Chengdu Motor Show later this month. Check it out:

Infiniti Q50L sedan

As you can see, this is a long-wheelbase version of the recently refreshed Infiniti Q50 sedan. If you’re looking for specific measurements, Infiniti added about 2 inches (48mm) to the normal Q50’s wheelbase and nearly 3 inches (60mm) to the sedan’s body, which puts the Q50L at a total length of 191 inches (4852mm). Almost all of that extra length went straight to the back seat, which is intended to make the new model more appealing to luxury chauffeurs – another big trend in China.

What’s especially exciting about this new Q50L sedan for is that it will be Infiniti’s first domestically manufactured model in China, although probably not the last. After all, this is just one more step towards their promise of a more comprehensive global presence. The new sedan will be manufactured at Infiniti’s new Xiangyang factory in the Hubei province.

Since Infiniti won’t be selling the Q50L outside China anytime soon, the new saloon has been tailored from the ground up for its target market. That means it’ll only be available with one engine option, supplied by Mercedes-Benz. It’s a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder petrol that outputs 211hp and fits within China’s strict emissions regulations. The powertrain will be paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission and the same Direct Adaptive Steering seen in the normal Infiniti Q50.

The new Infiniti Q50L will be more than just clean and comfy, though… It’ll also feature a boatload of cutting-edge tech features. Infiniti’s touch-screen inTouch infotainment and their active safety suite (including Active Lane Control) will be stock on all trims, as well as a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system and electronic anti-glare mirrors. And that’s just the beginning. There’ll be five total trims, listed in order of price: Comfort, Elegant, Sports, Luxury & Luxury Sports.

We’re sure to learn more about the new Infiniti Q50L later this month when the lengthy sedan makes its debut at the Chengdu Motor Show. Until then, we’ll all just have to make do with the image at the top of this post. Stay tuned for more details – and pictures – in a couple weeks.


Infiniti Boss Johan de Nysschen Departs as Sales Grow

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Former Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen

After just two brief years as the president of Infiniti Motor Co., boss Johan de Nysschen has officially resigned. He personally handed his letter of resignation to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn approximately one week ago, and will leave by the end of the month.

Stefan Weinmann, Infiniti’s general manager of global communications, told The Wall Street Journal a bit more about what prompted de Nysschen’s departure. He bluntly explains that, “He left to pursue other opportunities. We have started to search for a successor.”

What “other opportunities” could Weinmann be talking about?

Turns out, the former Infiniti president is moving over to General Motors as the head of their premium brand, Cadillac. That’s right; the former Audi boss got poached again. He’d apparently been disgruntled under Ghosn from the start, quoted early in his employment as saying that the Nissan CEO’s goal of 500k premium car sales by 2020 was entirely unrealistic.

So, what does this mean for Nissan’s luxury arm?

Right now, not much. Nissan CPO Andy Palmer will take over the reins at Infiniti until a suitable replacement can be found. More importantly, Nissan is still confident about the brand’s future, stating, “We’re convinced that [Infiniti] has a very promising future and Johan’s departure doesn’t change that potential.” An analyst from Macquarie Securities named Janet Lewis also told WSJ that the loss of de Nysschen shouldn’t have any effect on the company’s performance.

At this point, you might be curious about what Johan de Nysschen accomplished during his time at Infiniti. In short, he helped, but he still had more to do.

2014 Infinti Q50

Infiniti’s US sales are still an unsolved problem, as Infiniti continues to lose market share to the likes of Audi and Lexus. However, international sales are growing enough to make up for it, with the biggest sales potential coming from China. The new Infiniti Q50 has been an especially huge hit there, making up 50% of the brand’s total sales since its launch at the beginning of 2014. Just a week ago, before his resignation went public, de Nysschen estimated that they could quadruple their sales in China by the end of 2016.

In the end, there’s nothing to be worried about. Both Carlos Ghosn and Andy Palmer have had a hand in Infiniti’s direction since before de Nysschen ever joined the force, and they’ll continue to do so into the future. And so Infiniti will continue to launch all the new products that have planned for the next couple years. They’ll continue to expand production to new markets like China, and they’ll continue to make profitable joint ventures with luxury titans like Mercedes. The only thing we have to worry about is who will step in next to boost Infiniti’s progress in the right direction.


Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge to Move from Concept to Prototype

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge made its first official debut earlier this year at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show. No one could argue that it was a great looking car, and yet Infiniti promised more… The concept originally debuted without powertrain specifications, but Infiniti pledged that would change sometime soon.

Well, ‘soon’ came last week at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show where Infiniti premiered a revised version of their Q50 Eau Rouge, this time with an insanely powerful engine. In fact, it wasn’t just any engine – it was the very same engine as we’ve seen in the Nissan GT-R, a twin-turbo 3.8L V6. Except, in the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge the engine gets a 15hp boost up to 560hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Of course, this is still dwarfed by the 600hp GT-R NISMO, but you can’t expect Nissan to let any car outshine their newly launched crown jewel.

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Engine

In addition to the amped up engine, the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge also gets the GT-R’s AWD platform with a static 50-50 torque distribution. All of this gives us a monstrous sedan that can allegedly sprint from 0 to 60 in under 4 seconds, with a top speed of 180mph. And you’ll make your way up to that top speed with a 7-speed gearbox.

According to Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti’s president, the high-performance concept is the natural progression of the Q50 Eau Rouge. He explained that, “A car with such pronounced styling treatments demands the very best in terms of high-performance powertrains, which is why we installed the V6 twin-turbocharged, seven-speed combination as an example of what a potential powertrain for the Q50 Eau Rouge may look and sound like.”

Speaking of sound, go ahead and indulge yourself with the video below. It’s a little bit of ear candy that we know you’ll enjoy:

Unfortunately, when the super sedan was shown at the Geneva Motor Show, we were disappointed to learn that Infiniti was explicitly NOT confirming the Eau Rouge for production. However, just one week later, de Nysschen has given us reason to breathe a sigh of relief.

In an interview with Autocar, he put it simply: “This is now an official project.”

Infiniti is now moving the car one step closer to production by expressing their intention to build a prototype model. De Nysschan elaborated, saying, “There are many things to look at, details like the different vibration harmonics that result when you take an engine designed for one application and fit it in another.”

If the super Q50 did eventually make it to production, it would be the most powerful Infiniti model by far, and we’re certainly hoping that will come to pass. In the meantime, Infiniti did confirm that they’ll unleash a not-quite-as-exciting 2.0L 4-cylinder engine with 211 hp into their normal Q50 models later this year. Honestly, we’re hoping that we see this Q50 Eau Rouge prototype by then too.


Infiniti Previews New 2014 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 7th, 2013

2013 has been a defining year for Infiniti. You may recall that it was at the end of 2012 when the premium brand announced its nomenclature overhaul. So it was that Infiniti released the Q50 at the beginning of this year in lieu of the G37. Redefining the lackluster legacy of the Infiniti G37, the Infiniti Q50 originally set out to be a luxury sports sedan with a polished exterior, spacious interior and surprisingly well-tuned handling.

So far, the Infiniti Q50 has done exactly that, and reception across the board has been almost universally positive. Now, Nissan’s premium arm is looking to expand on the sedan’s success. That’s why you’ll see the 2014 Infiniti Q50 in Japan as the Nissan Skyline (or the Infiniti Skyline, or whatever they ended up calling it; it was a confusing ordeal, we just know it’ll end up with ‘Skyline’ in the name), and it’s also why Infiniti has just previewed a brand-new Infiniti Q50 Concept for next year.

This new Infiniti Q50 Concept aims to leverage Infiniti’s Red Bull Racing Formula 1 sponsorship, and Infiniti promises that we’ll see it in the metal at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Curious? Check it out:

2014 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

2014 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

The above preview is the only image that we have of the upcoming 2014 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept.

What’s the ‘Eau Rouge’, you ask?

As any Formula One fan would know, the Eau Rouge is a world-renowned series of extremely challenging turns in the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium. On the track, it’s the first place where drivers cross over the Eau Rouge (literally “red water”) stream, and it presents drivers with a series of sharp left-right-left corners. The Eau Rouge is one of the most difficult parts of any circuit in motorsports, and so it is with some gumption that Infiniti has elected to use it as their next concept’s namesake.

The announcement of the new concept couldn’t come at a better time for motorsport fans. After all, Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team have just secured their fourth consecutive F1 World Championship Title. So, there’s no doubt that Red Bull Racing and, likely, Sebastian Vettel will have a hand in the new Q50’s tuning.

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much more at this time. All we know is that the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept “represents Infiniti’s design vision of a high-performance variant of Q50: It features aerodynamic styling treatments and design elements which are influenced by Infiniti’s partnership with Formula One world championship-winning team Infiniti Red Bull Racing.”

Looking at the image above, some possible aesthetic changes can be seen in the new front air intakes, small hood scoops, new LED fog lights, and possible carbon fiber integration on the mirrors and front wing.

We have no information regarding powertrain upgrades or anything like that, so you’re stuck waiting with the rest of us until next year’s 2014 Detroit Motor Show if you want to learn anything more. Let’s hope it’s more than just a pretty face with a cute name.

Until then, come back tomorrow for more Japanese car news!


Two Unique Fashonista Infiniti Q50 Sedans

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 27th, 2013

What if you could drive an Infiniti Q50 designed by President Obama and his wife’s favorite fashion designer?

Not a Democrat? Ok… What about a Q50 designed by a man who’s worked with countless A-list celebrities for their most important red carpet debuts?

For the first time ever, it’s possible to do both.

Still feeling a little bit behind?  All right, here’s what’s up:

Two well-known fashion designers, Zac Posen and Thom Browne, each took a stab at designing their own 100% unique Infiniti Q50 sedan, and they both went on display at the Frankfurt Motor Show earlier this month. Obviously, in lieu of all the other brand new vehicles at the European motor show, they were glossed over in the coverage. But, yesterday the premium Japanese brand released a new media kit from the Infiniti dealership in Manhattan showcasing the two Q50s, complete with lots of sweet pictures and videos which we’ll take a look at below.

First, let’s look at what most people agree is the better looking of the two designer Q50s, the one by Thom Browne:

Infiniti Q50 Designed by Thom Browne

Thom Browne Infiniti Q50

As you can see, what we have here is chrome, chrome and more chrome. Not that that’s a bad thing! The car definitely stands out from the crowd, and the mirrored silver finish actually looks quite sleek with the aggressively classy exterior design of the Infiniti Q50 sedan. That being said, we could understand if you found it a bit over the top.

Inside his Q50, Browne chose to include more color with black upholstery accented by red, white and blue stripes, as well as Browne’s signature silver ring wrapped around the gear-shift. On the whole, very classy.

Thom Browne Q50 interior

The Browne edition of the Q50 will also come with matching red, white and blue striped luggage in the trunk, as well as matching business card cases for that extra little bit of value. The card cases will also be available separately, as discussed below.

Infiniti Q50 Designed by Zac Posen

The Thom Browne Q50 has been well received across the board; however, its feminine counterpart by Zac Posen has been substantially more controversial in its aesthetic. Take a look below and judge for yourself:

Zac Posen Infiniti Q50

As you might guess, the controversy comes from the ombré effect featured on the car’s exterior.  Zac Posen intended the subtle fade from light silver matte to glossy dark gray to imitate the natural flow of a luscious silk gown. Again, remember that Posen is a designer that thrives in glamour – his version of the Infiniti Q50 is his homage to red carpet style.

To continue the red carpet theme, the interior of the Zac Posen Q50 features a diverse array of quality materials with velvet, leather and shagreen, all richly colored in various shades of red. Take a look below:

Zac Posen Infiniti Q50

Where Browne designed accompanying luggage and business card holders, Posen designed a matching ZAC Smartphone Clutch. Both designers’ accessories will be sold separately from the Q50s to those who can’t buy the cars, but still like the style.

Want to Buy Your Own Designer Q50?

You can! Unfortunately, there’s only one of each designer Infiniti Q50. But, as long as you have a quick trigger finger and $75,000 to spend, you could take home one of these unique premium sedans in December when they go on sale through designer ecommerce website, Gilt.com. According to one of Infiniti’s chief marketers, Kelly MacDonald, “Gilt and Infiniti have very similar customers. They are very fashion savvy, tech savvy, they like new things and we think this is a great partnership.”

Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the two designer Infiniti Q50s will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. You can learn more via the video below:

What do you think of the two Q50s? Which do you like better – the Thom Browne edition or the Zac Posen one? Let us know in the comments below!


Mercedes-Benz Helps Infiniti Q50 Expand Powertrain Options

Posted by Stephen On Friday, January 25th, 2013

Last week at the Detroit Auto Show we got a first peek at the brand-new Infiniti Q50. For those of you with a short memory, the incoming Q50 is the replacement for the outgoing Infiniti G37 – the premium Japanese manufacturer’s best-selling vehicle by a mile. However, according to the president of Infiniti worldwide, Johan De Nysschen, the luxury sedan is still missing from some very important market segments.

That’s where Mercedes-Benz comes in.

According to Mr. De Nysschen’s estimation, giving customers a choice between powertrains is an important factor that’s been missing from the brand’s previous luxury sedans. Apparently, this is one of the first things that he observed when he was hired by Infiniti in 2012. He admits that “We [Infiniti] simply lack a vehicle in those segments. We can’t compete with the world’s most powerful luxury auto companies on a part-time basis.”

Inifiniti

Over the course of the next two years Infiniti intends to expand beyond the Q50’s default six-cylinder 3.7L engine (which is actually inherited from the old G37) to offer a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0L, along with a clean diesel engine exclusive to Europe.

Thanks to a technology partnership that was announced late in 2011 between Daimler and Nissan, both the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine and the clean diesel one will be borrowed directly from the newest Mercedes-Benz C-Class. This is an excellent deal for Nissan because the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is definitely one of the leaders in the premium sedan segment and a stellar example of good engineering; borrowing anything from such a successful vehicle can only be good news for Nissan’s luxury brand. And it works out perfectly, because while Mercedes-Benz is behind the engineering and design of the engine, Nissan’s own Tennessee-based factory is responsible for the actual manufacture.

As far as specifications, we don’t know very much yet and can only offer speculation. However, remember that the motivation behind offering a smaller engine is to give customers the ability to choose fuel economy without sacrificing performance. This means that even though the new engine will be smaller, the goal is to keep acceleration and fun-factor at a maximum. Rumor throughout the automotive press would have us believe that the 2013 Infiniti Q50’s future Benz-sourced 2.0L engine will run above 200hp but below 250hp.

For our State-side readers wondering about the clean diesel engine, don’t discount it just yet. De Nysschen knows the importance of offering customers a diesel engine, saying “you must have diesel available to be a serious member of the premium market.” Over the past six years diesel has become increasingly popular across Europe and Asia – for example, in India over 70% of the general population’s vehicles run on diesel, as opposed to only 20% 6 years ago. However, whether or not the trend will continue into America remains to be seen; De Nysschen says that Infiniti is “reflecting on the US market,” so a diesel offering isn’t totally out of the picture. It’s just not on the table right now.

Regardless, it is good to see Infiniti taking some initiative with their newest luxury sedan. We were all a little bit worried when Infiniti pointlessly changed their naming structure from “G” to “Q” – it felt more like a New Year’s resolution than a serious marketing move – but seeing De Nysschen’s market-awareness is a huge encouragement. Who knows, in a few years Infiniti could be the name that comes to mind when people think “luxury Japanese car” instead of Lexus, but we’re not jumping on the bandwagon just yet.

Source: Autoweek, Car and Driver


The Most Impressive Japanese Cars From the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Even though the Detroit Auto Show will technically be open until next Saturday, January 26, we’ve already seen coverage of every single vehicle that the show has to offer. Monday and Tuesday were for press, yesterday and today are reserved for industry professionals, and then the floors will be opened to the public starting this Saturday.

Naturally, now that we have seen the newest and best vehicles that our favorite Japanese manufacturers have to offer in 2013, the next step is picking out the cream of the crop. Below you will find the top three Japanese cars that made the best first impressions with the press. Even though you or I may not personally agree with each and every one of these picks, these are the most popular Japanese cars of the 2013 Detroit Auto Show:

#1. Toyota Furia Concept

While there is a general wariness that next-gen Corolla will end up a far cry from the spicy Toyota Furia Concept we saw this week, there’s no doubt that Toyota hit this one out of the park. The Furia was everything the brand made it out to be and more; there’s no denying that the carbon-fiber-wearing, LED-touting Furia looks pretty dang sweet.

The looming wariness may be nothing more than the residual impact that decades of “beige” and “tan” have wrought on the Corolla’s image, but still… Toyota’s executives could’ve at least TRIED to assuage our worries. Instead they said nothing more than that “the Corolla Furia Concept is an early indicator of where our compact car design may lead in the future.”

#2. Infiniti Q50 / Lexus IS

Here we have the two Japanese luxury sedans that both made waves at the Detroit Auto Show. If you asked 10 people which one is better and why, you would get 11 different answers. The fact of the matter is that these two vehicles are not targeted towards the same audience, so comparing them is somewhat futile.

Chances are that if you live outside the States, then the Lexus IS will be the more appealing sedan because of a hybrid option that will be available to international buyers. On the other hand, if you have an eye for cool technology, then you will appreciate the completely electric steering featured in the Q50 – there are no mechanical connections between the steering and the wheels. The Lexus IS probably has a more innovative styling, but the Q50 has a superior interior, and the exterior design will definitely appeal to classicists without being too stale.

#3. Nissan Resonance

Last but not least, the Nissan Resonance concept was by far the most compelling new design at the Detroit Auto Show. Again, because this is a concept car we don’t actually know how many of the futuristic elements will make it into the final production model. But, I think that we are all desperately hoping that, if nothing else, the “floating” roof makes it to the streets.

Nissan tells us that, “When the designers were first working on the Resonance, they were inspired by scientific advancements in technology and material innovations.” This would explain the sci-fi inspired holographic center console, as well as the “V-Motion” exterior styling.

Honorable Mention – Honda Urban SUV Concept

Even though several industry insiders weren’t personally impressed by the new Honda concept, coverage of the SUV was on the whole promising. Apparently several top executives from competing manufacturers (cough, BMW, cough) were observed ogling at the Urban SUV concept from afar, trying to figure out how their own models stacked up. That’s got to mean something, and I’m sure Honda is satisfied with their presentation.

Well, with that we will conclude our coverage of the Detroit Auto Show without even once mentioning the new Corvette.

Whoops! Oh well.

With over 50 vehicles on display at the NAIAS, even the four days we’ve spent covering exclusively Japanese cars seems crunched, but hopefully you’re appetite for car-candy has been satisfied. It was the first big auto event of the year, and it was a good one for Japanese car enthusiasts… Now let’s turn our attention forward and watch these concepts turn into production vehicles over the course of 2013!


Japanese Cars from Day 1 of the Detroit Auto Show

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Today marks the first day of press access to the first big automotive event of the year – the North American International Auto Show, or more commonly referred to as the Detroit Auto Show.

Many of you have marked your calendars in advance for this important date, but sifting through all of your favorite news sources for updates can be a hassle. So, to make life easier for our fellow Japanese car enthusiasts, this blog will be bringing you daily updates on the latest unveilings of the show. Being that this is a Japanese car blog, we will be specifically covering the Japanese-made vehicles debuting at the NAIAS.

Infiniti Q50

We knew that the Infiniti Q50 would be competing for attention with the highly anticipated Lexus IS, so it’s a good thing that Infiniti’s Toyota-owned competitor won’t be debuting their luxury sedan until Day 2… That means the new Infiniti Q50 has a whole day in the spotlight!

The all-new luxury sports sedan will be replacing the Infiniti G37 and will feature a highly aerodynamic exterior design with either a 3.7L V6 with 328hp or a 300hp 3.5L V6 gas engine hybrid-linked with a 67hp electric motor. One of the coolest features of the new sports sedan is a brand-new feature – Active Lane Control – which is capable of reading the road ahead and adjusting the vehicle’s steering based on automatically-perceived changes in road conditions or crosswinds.

Toyota Corolla Furia

Regular readers will know that this writer was hoping the Toyota Furia would be more than a Corolla reboot. So, when Toyota unveiled the Furia today and it was exactly that, you might expect me to be disappointed. However, the expressive innovation and vivid design clear in the real-life Furia have completely washed away any disappointments that last-week-me may have felt.

The new Corolla concept rides lower to the ground, is slightly longer than previous generations, and features a bevy of trend-minded aesthetic tweaks, such as a significantly pronounced grille, an abbreviated front clip, and a steeply raked windshield. Looks like the Corolla will continue being the best-selling vehicle of all time.

Nissan Leaf

The Nissan leaf was definitely one of the cars that we were aware of, but not excited about, at the outset of the Detroit Auto Show. However, today Nissan dropped a bomb on us so huge that we felt compelled to write an entire article about this car alone.

The new Nissan LEAF S will be available as cheaply as $18,800 depending on your locale, and every single trim level will be more efficient, cleaner, and have a larger range than any of Nissan’s previous EVs.

Honda Fit-Based Urban SUV

The automotive blogosphere has been murmuring about a Fit-based SUV from Honda for at least the past six months, and today we finally got to see what those murmurings were all about. The new crossover from Honda has been dubbed the Urban SUV Concept, and Honda says that “The Urban SUV Concept is intended to provide the basis for a fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient small SUV with aspirational design, flexible packaging and next-generation connectivity targeting active lifestyle customers.” We know that the Urban SUV will launch in Japan by the end of the year, and in the States by 2014.

Day one of the Detroit Auto Show was a great start for Japanese car manufacturers with a good showing across the field. The least exciting Japanese car of the day was probably the Honda Urban SUV concept, but that’s not to say it won’t be a blazing success when launch-time comes later this year. After all, the same thing was said about the Honda CR-V and it is one of the best-selling SUVs in the American market. Plus, Honda/Acura has more cars waiting to be revealed over the next few days of the Detroit Auto Show, so you’ll want to check back tomorrow for the most up-to-date coverage.