29 March 2007

Infiniti Has Seen The Future, And That Future Doesn't Include Big Trucks

With the first shots of the forthcoming Infiniti EX35 hitting the net today, there has been some discussion as to what exactly Infiniti is doing with their range of vehicles.

Once the EX is officially in the fold, they'll have 3 trucks/crossovers to choose from, and only 2 passenger cars.

Weird combination right?

Well the future plan looks like this for Infiniti-

  • The EX35, which will be sporting the VQ 3.5, will be slotting underneath the FX series vehicles at a lower price point, but with almost the same amount of interior space. The VQ in this variation will be rated at 300 HP or more. There is talk of providing the 2.5 I4 engine from the Altima/Sentra SE-R as a possible EX25 entry level model. The range will compete against the BMW X3, the Acura RDX, and the smaller Lexus SUV due to come out in a few years.
  • The FX series will move up in size with their redesign, scheduled within the next 2 years, in order to combat the newly enlarged BMW X5, the Mercedes ML series, the Audi Q7, the Cadillac SRX and the Lexus RX. Two engine options will be available again, however the lower end engine will be the 3.7 liter VQ currently scheduled for the Infiniti G37 Coupe. The V8 will be an all new engine which will be also featured in the refreshed M series, and the all new...
  • Q50. The current 4.5 liter V8 is quickly being caught by the bored out VQ 3.7, so Infiniti/Nissan will be making a larger version for use in their premium models. Some thought had been given to using the powerplant in the GT-R, but it was quickly nixed as not being sporty enough.
  • The horrid QX56 is scheduled to be discontinued once the new lineups are in place. It will go back to being a Nissan only model.
So the Infiniti lineup will look as follows-

G37 Sedan/G37 Coupe

Leaner and more focused for the Japanese BMW competitor.


Ghrankenstein said...

EX35: Like Acura and its RDX, Infiniti knows its customers better than the domestic producers, and better than they know themselves. As Acura discovered, being better than an X3 isn't all that hard, and the practicality levels of the current FX can be met with a more affordable vehicle. The concept of the personal CUV is idiotic to me, but we're talking about John and Jane Q. General Public, who want RAV-4's ("SUV's") from luxury names and insist on paying too much for them. They simply love fake trucks.

BMW was the first to recognize this, but Acura was the first to really capitalize, and with disturbing rapidity. Infiniti is wise to join the fray, and they tend to have the performance hardware to deal out the necessary damage in an FX-caliber vehicle at an RDX price. It'll still be a CUV, and it won't hold a candle in pure driving dynamics to an A3, A4 Avant, or 9-3 Combi, but it will probably make as much money in the states as all those models combined.

Lexus will skip the segment, figuring (incorrectly) that its customers are too smart to distinguish a rebadged Lexus from a RAV-4. Hyundai will offer a spongy "premium" alternative, with its warranty that looks good until you actually have to use it. Cadillac will show up in 2011.

G37: If I were to ever break rank, the G-series is the vehicle. I'd never break rank, but it's still sick.

QX56: Fussy customers don't like brake problems, especially repeated brake problems. Apparently they're more acceptable at the plebian Nissan stores.

Freedom, terrible terrible freedom!


George Bush said...

At this rate they will never be a serious luxury brand. Those updates are natural progression, all car makers add a SUV and update engines.