Doors opened to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show today. As you might expect from our previews last week, there are a ton of new Japanese cars to talk about. While we’d like to devote a full blog post to each new car and concept showcased in Frankfurt (we’re nothing if not thorough), unfortunately, it’s just not feasible. So, instead, we’re going to group our Frankfurt coverage by brand marque; we’ll start today with Nissan and Infiniti.
Infiniti Q30 Concept Targets “Younger Customers Coming Into the Premium Segment”
First up we have the highly anticipated Infiniti Q30 Concept. We’ve already seen lots of previews, so chances are you’re familiar with the design. What we didn’t know is that this vivacious five-door hatchback is going to be Infiniti’s first major push towards younger drivers. Apparently, Infiniti is prepared to acknowledge that the future of luxury is in youth, and so their “future growth in the premium sector is about more than shifting customer demographics.” It’s about shifting attitude; it’s about changing the way a premium car appeals to a buyer.
Towards that end, the Infiniti Q30 Concept is a self-acknowledged design mash-up. It’s undeniably attractive, but it doesn’t quite fit into the normal market segments. It’s technically labeled a hatchback, but no one would fault you for calling it a crossover. The goal here is to cast a wide net to a larger base of customers, and then hope that the Q30’s natural appeal and (we’re hoping) excellent drivability will move units off the lot.
Unfortunately, the one thing we knew nothing about – technical specs – is also the one thing Infiniti declined to share with us in Frankfurt.
Infiniti Announces a New Flagship Car
The Q30 Concept was Infiniti’s primary showcase in Frankfurt, but they made one other interesting announcement about their future flagship car. This new upmarket vehicle is rumored to arrive in 6 years, and it will likely be built tuned with help from Red Bull Racing.
Unfortunately, that’s about all we know as Infiniti’s boss, Johan de Nysschen, deliberately withheld any further details. He said, “I’ll leave you to decide whether our new flagship is a saloon, coupe or supercar, but it will be a car. We won’t have an SUV like it is now.”
Nissan X-Trail / Rogue
Last, but not least, we have Nissan’s 2014 X-Trail, which is Nissan’s first car to be engineered with the new Renault-Nissan Common Module Family. For those of you don’t know, CMF is a platform designed to simplify research and development through the use of almost Lego-like components (very simplistic example) that can be applied to numerous vehicle classes and models. And FYI, the Q30 will also be built with CMF.
Basically, we already knew most of what there is to know about the new Nissan X-Trail/Rogue. New features we saw in Frankfurt include a 3rd row of seats, a variety of new technologies in-cabin, and strangely enough, down-sized powertrain options.
Making the X-Trail’s engines smaller may seem odd, but Nissan says that, “By reducing power sapping friction in its drivetrains, new X-Trail provides excellent performance [compared to] the latest generation of downsized engines.” In other words, Nissan’s chosen efficiency over power, and that means smaller engines.
All in all, Nissan and Infiniti both had a great showing in Frankfurt. The Q30 looks just as appealing as it did last week, and the development about the X-Trail’s smaller engine options is certainly intriguing. If you’d like more coverage of Japanese cars shown at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, be sure to check back tomorrow for Toyota and Lexus.