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See that futurey white thing in the picture above? That’s the Infiniti Etherea concept car, and previews what a premium hatch from Nissan’s luxury arm - aimed at the ‘yoof’ of tomorrow - will look like.

So real is the premise in fact, it’s actually going to be built in the UK, at Nissan’s award-winning Sunderland factory in 2015, creating an extra 280 jobs at the plant, and around 1,000 jobs across the country. All in, Infiniti is investing some £250 million into the UK.

As mentioned, the new Infiniti hatchback will be loosely based on that Etherea concept, first seen at the Geneva motor show last year. Obviously, the name and looks will probably change, but whatever it’s called, the hatch will sit on Mercedes’ front wheel drive architecture, so essentially it’s a new A-Class underneath. And that’s actually a promising thing.

Infiniti has high hopes for this little car too, allowing the company to compete in one of the toughest segments on earth. It’s certainly a statement of confidence, in part coming from the news that this year, Nissan’s Sunderland plant will produce over 500,000 cars for the first time. And when Infiniti is properly embedded over here, it reckons it’ll be able to churn out around 60,000 Infiniti models every year.

That said, something had to give way; Nissan’s proposed C-segment hatchback that was initially intended for the Sunderland plant will now be produced somewhere else. We’ll find out more in due course.

Says Colin Dodge, Nissan vice president: “This milestone, our first premium product to be manufactured at Sunderland, reconfirms our commitment to UK manufacturing and the ongoing success of the plant.”

Like the idea of an A-Class based Infiniti hatchback Made In Britain? If, somehow, the production version has but the faintest echoes and family likeness to the simply gorgeous Emerg-E supercar concept, consider us interested…

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