Infiniti has just announced that starting 2014 model year its model lineup nomenclature will be significantly simplified. The company will drop the usual G, M, FX, EX and will adopt a simple naming strategy: Q – for sedans, coupes and convertibles, and QX, for crossover and SUV models. Next to the Q or QX lettering each model will also get a double digit representing hierarchy within the range.
This decision has been made to symbolize the brand’s direction and the commitment to Infiniti under the leadership of Johan de Nysschen, but also as an heritage to the famous Q45 – Infiniti’s first iconic flagship produced between 1989 and 2006.
The first model in the new lineup - the Q50 - or the replacement for the previously G sedan will be making its world debut in January 2013 at the Detroit Auto Show. It will be followed by the Q70 - formerly known as the M sedan, and according to The Car Connection, we will also see a new flagship sedan, placed above the upcoming Q70, but do not expect to see until late in 2015.
Whether you know it as the Infiniti M or the Nissan Kuga, you can’t deny that this vehicle is a certified head-turner. And that’s when it comes with its standard format.
Add Wald International’s new Black Bison program and you have a vehicle that now carries additional aesthetic and aerodynamic credentials. The new Black Bison program comes with a plethora of new components for the Infiniti Mat a $3,900 price tag. The kit includes an aggressive front bumper with its own sporty air intakes and integrated LED daytime running lights. From there, the car’s side skirts have also been extended while a ventilated rear bumper also carries an integrated diffuser.
But wait, there’s more.
A new roof spoiler ($605) has also been added, as well as a trunk-mounted spoiler ($730) and a set of alloy wheels. Last but not least, Wald International also decided to set up the Infiniti M with a lowered suspension and a choice of two sport exhaust systems, giving the car mechanical upgrades on top of the aesthetic modifications it already sports.
Given that the Infiniti M already sports a top-of-the-line 5.6-liter VVEL direct-injected V-8 engine that produces 420 horsepower, you can’t help but be enamored with Wald’s new Black Bison program that adds a touch of sporty aggressiveness to the car’s overall luxury setup.
The next generation Infiniti G has just been caught testing close to the Nürburgring race track in Germany, and this time, it’s not a mule but the real deal. The future sedan is heavily camouflaged, but the Infinity lines, fluid shape and signature Infinity grille are all out in the open for us to see.
According to the first details on the car, the new generation Infiniti G will grow slightly in its dimensions to offer more passenger room. It will also get some new engine options thanks to the new Mercedes and Renault/Nissan alliance.
The new Infiniti G sedan will be the first model to arrive, but it will be joined by a full range of F-models, such as a convertible, coupe, and a high performance version. In order to make the line-up more attractive for its European customers, a station wagon will also be thrown in the mix.
Okay, so as we all know, the automotive rumormill has a habit of bouncing back and forth before finally resting on the truth. Back in August, we heard a rumor that the Alpine would be built in a joint venture between Renault-Nissan and Caterham. Then just days later, we started exploring the possibility of the Alpine and Infiniti Emerg-E being a Renault-Nissan and Lotus project, given the Emerg-E was already built on the Lotus Evora platform and it would be simpler to build both the Emerg-e and Alpine on the same platform.
Well, it looks as if the Lotus and Nissan talk is done with, as Caterham appears to have swooped in and all but completed a deal with Renault Nissan. Sky News is reporting that Caterham boss, Tony Fernandes, is just about to put ink to paper on a $400 million production deal that will join Caterham and Renault-Nissan at the hip on the Alpine project. The deal would involve a 50-50 split in cost and profits between Renault-Nissan and Caterham.
There is no mention as to whether this will also affect the Emerg-E’s production plans, but chances are that the Emerg-E will remain a Lotus and Renault-Nissan project, since both companies are already so deeply entrenched in the deal.
This also effectively eliminates the chances that the Emerg-E and Renault Alpine will share any significant DNA. It is very doubtful if Lotus would be willing to lend its platform to Caterham for a project that it back-doored from the already struggling sports car builder.
We’ll keep a close eye on this situation because it could boil over into something a little more, as the two rivals compete to snag up a little extra business. The deal is expected to be reviewed on Monday and approved in just a few weeks.
In mid-2012, Infiniti added the M35 GT model to its line-up, and just a couple of months later, the company has launched the special edition M35h Business Edition built from that model. The new M35h Business Edition is priced at €54,815 ($86,900 at the current exchange rates) and comes with advanced Connectiviti+ navigation as standard.
The new Business Edition will be offered with an impressive list of technology, including a Bi-xenon Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), rear-view camera, parking sensors, and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The driver will enjoy some of the most amazing driving features currently available on the market, including heated ventilated front seats, Forest Air climate control, HDD Music Box and voice-recognition navigation, Bose 10-speaker high-performance audio system with Bose AudiPilot2 Noise Compensation Technology, Bluetooth, and USB connector.
Under the hood, Infiniti has placed a 364 HP 3.5 liter V6 hybrid drivetrain combined with a 7-speed automatic transmission. This power is just enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, adding speed to amazing comfort features.
Jay Leno had a ton of fun at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours, taking in all of the luxury vehicles in attendance, including all of the concepts revealed. In the last episode of Jay Leno’s Garage show, Leno took his time reviewing the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and the Urus Concepts, but his new episode focuses more on the other concepts presented at the show.
Leno got an up-close look at Infiniti’s fully electric Emerg-E, as well as the latest concept coupes from Rolls-Royce Bespoke and Mercedes-Benz. The first concept to be reviewed is the Emerge-E, which received less than stellar marks. Next, Leno takes a look at the Mercedes-Benz Concept Style Coupe which will be unveiled in production form sometime next year. His final concept to review was the Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection which is also set to be put into limited production.
Just recently, we reported that Johan de Nysschen left Audi USA to head up Infiniti, and it appears he is already making some necessary changes. According to Car Sales, Nysschen confirmed that it, like many other automakers, is heading away from V-8 engine configurations to help reduced CO2 emissions and help it meet the anticipated CAFE standard of 54.5 mpg by 2025. He was quoted saying: “I don’t think any car that is on Infiniti drawing boards from here onwards we should expect a V8 to be included in that plan”
It is admirable seeing luxury automakers willing to take a step forward to help meet the needs of the world, as fuel prices continue to rise. This is a sharp contrast to his former employer stance, as Volkswagen has spoken out pretty harshly against these upcoming regulations and is one of only a handful of car manufacturers that has not signed the CAFE agreement. We wonder if this was a ideological difference that helped push Nysschen away from Audi and VW.
Keep an eye out for the next generation of Infiniti cars to be lacking the all mighty Nissan 5.6-liter V-8 engine and we are now awaiting Nissan to announce a similar changeover. This would entail changes to the Nissan Titan and NV van lineups. Ford has already shown that a turbocharged V-6 engine works great in a pickup truck and we’re sure it translates well to a van too.
When the Emerg-E popped onto the scene during the Geneva Auto Show, us automotive folk were amazed at the technology and potential behind this car. We were also amazed to see a rather familiar platform looking back at us, as the Emerg-E is built on the same platform as the Lotus Evora.
Lotus is no stranger to lending out its platforms and bodies for various performance applications (see: Hennessey Venom GT), but it has never gotten into the actual building phase of these cars. Infiniti has yet to confirm that the Emerg-E for production, but its sister company, Renault, has already announced that the Alpine will go into production, in one form or another.
Since Renault has also made it clear that the Alpine will not be much like its concept and the Emerg-E is already based on a Lotus concept, why not save a little scratch and build both models on the same platform? There is really no reason not to and there is absolutely no way that Lotus would refuse this deal, as it sorely needs a little extra money these days.
Sure, the production level may be low and the income may be limited, but it would at least help put Lotus back into the sports car conversation. In addition to getting its foot back into the sports car door, with the Evora and Emerg-E being range-extended electric vehicles, this could carve Lotus a real nice and potentially profitable niche.
We’ll have to wait and see what comes of this, but the connection is already there, it just needs a little push in the right direction.
The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing now and medals are quickly adding up. We started wondering what about the varying cars of the world? There is no auto racing in the Olympics and a love of awesome cars is one thing that is shared throughout the entire world. So why not include them?
Here at Topspeed, we felt it was time to give our 4-wheeled friends a fair chance and display the top supercars from each of the countries participating in the 2012 Summer Games – those that produce supercars. So let’s have a look at what these countries have to offer. You may be surprised to find out what countries produce some awesome supercars and what ones don’t produce any at all.
We stand to learn a lot about the world of supercars while putting this piece together, so we are certain you will learn a ton right along with us.
Click past the jump to read our entire list and check out our full infographic.
The hype surrounding the Infiniti Emerg-E turned out to be false hope, but Infiniti may still have plans for the concept. The coulda, shoulda, woulda halo car recently died out at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed after reports leaked out that its performance may not be as impressive as Infiniti had originally reported. We’re sure having to be towed away definitely wasn’t in the plans. All of that being said, in a recent interview with Inside Line, Shiro Nakamura - Nissan and Infiniti design chief - said that the company is still hoping that the Emerg-E will become the new flagship model for the Nissan luxury brand.
According to Nakamura, the Emerg-E could still be built in limited edition in Britain and Lotus could potentially be behind the build considering the Emerg-E is loosely based off the experimental Lotus Evora 414E hybrid.
Other possibilities for a new flagship Infiniti model are an SUV or a sedan. Either way, he suggested that the 2014 G sedan and a new small hatchback will feature design elements from the Emerg-E. The new G sedan is expected to be unveiled in 2013, while the hatchback, previewed by the Etherea concept, will be unveiled in 2014.
"Today’s G looks a bit fat, but the new G has really nice proportions, and it’s much sportier," Nakamura said. "The compact hatchback is very expressive, but not like the FX. I’m very content with them."
Any hopes for a great hybrid super car from Infiniti may be dead in the water, but we’re still banking on the back that the company has the Essence Concept in its back pocket. Whether they’ll do anything with this 592 hp petrol-electric hybrid ace in the hole is a whole other argument.