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Next era of Infiniti cars signalled with new concept car in Detroit

Written by: Neil

Infiniti – Nissan’s performance brand – has revealed a new concept car at the Detroit Auto Show, hinting where the brand’s next batch of models could be heading.

It may still be an unfamiliar brand to most motorists, but Infiniti has been shifting a fair few cars in recent years.

In 2017, it racked up its eighth consecutive year of record sales, selling 246,492 vehicles worldwide. The UK accounted for more than 3,500 of them, which represented a 21 per cent improvement on 2016’s sales.

Sceptics may dismiss Infiniti cars as posh Nissans, but the fact is the brand is going from strength to strength.

The A-Class-based Q30 hatchback was a major landmark for Infiniti, but now, it needs to begin a new chapter and this has begun with the unveiling of the Q Inspiration concept car at this week’s Detroit Auto Show – officially known as the North American International Auto Show.

Less is infinitely more

Its exterior follows classic saloon traits with coupe-like proportions and an elongated silhouette. It is a concise design with dynamic and confident proportions that clearly parades Infiniti’s new design language.

The minimalist approach of the exterior is maintained inside, with the driver wrapped in a serene and comfortable environment.

Infiniti’s designers were able to create a more spacious cabin thanks to the intelligently-packaged four-cylinder VC-Turbo engine, which liberated designers from the constraints of powertrain architecture.

Shaking up saloons

Christian Meunier, Infiniti’s global division vice president, said the concept car was an effort to shake up the “rather conservative” premium saloon segment.

“The Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them,” he commented.

Under the bonnet is the VC-Turbo, which represents a breakthrough in combustion engine design. It first appeared in the QX50 and is the world’s first variable compression ratio engine.

This means the Q Inspiration’s engine continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimise power and fuel efficiency. It has the power of a larger V6 petrol engine, but also the torque and efficiency of an advanced four-cylinder diesel engine – the best of both worlds then, so count us in!

Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “Infiniti might not be a household name on the same level as Nissan, but it is showing signs that it could be causing certain premium German carmakers a headache very soon.”

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