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New Infiniti Q30 guns for A-Class, 1-Series and Audi A3
Is this outlandish-looking posh hatch finally the car to make Infiniti relevant?
This, you would suspect, is Infiniti’s best shot yet of actually making some serious inroads into the stronghold of posh German metal in Europe. To, y’know, sell some cars.
It’s the Q30, and it’s the Japanese brand’s smallest model yet. Aiming to take on the likes of the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series and Mercedes A-Class (we’ll come back to that last one in a moment), the Q30 is gunning for a combination of lucrative company fleet sales, and affluent younger buyers who’re bored of driving around in the same make of car owned by their granddad. Tough crowd.
Now, that A-Class connection. Although the Q30 will be built in Sunderland, at parent-brand Nissan’s gargantuan factory in England’s northeast, it’s not actually based on a Qashqai or Pulsar.
Nope, underneath, the Q30 is actually an A-Class Benz, thanks to Nissan’s engineering alliance with Mercedes overlords Daimler.
The politics are all a bit complicated, but the important bit is this: under its swoopy, sculpted body, Infiniti’s Q30 will likely borrow the tried-and-tested mechanicals of the Mercedes A-Class, CLA and GLA – which have been a monster sales coup for Merc lately.
So, we expect there’ll be a choice of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines – all turbocharged - and manual or automatic gearboxes. It’s all gone very quiet on the performance car front from Infiniti of late, but with AMG having done all the leg work setting up the savagely fast A45 AMG and co., could we be about to get a 350bhp-plus Infiniti hot hatch? We know the platform’s capable of handling it, after all…
If you’re after the sensible numbers like CO2 output and how many kitchen sinks will fit in the Q30’s boot, official info isn’t being released until the Frankfurt motor show, in September 2015. So for now, let’s content ourselves with the Q30’s looks.
Typically for an Infiniti, there’s much body creasing and that characteristically kinked C-pillar. It’s trying to get your attention, that’s for sure, and we applaud Infiniti for not playing things too safe.
Question is, can this newcomer hatch actually persuade you to part with your hard-earned, or are those pesky Germans just too strong? Give your first impressions verdict below.