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Infiniti’s new two-door BMW rival is coming
Infiniti has confirmed to TopGear.com that it will showcase a production version of a brand new, two-door coupe by 2015.
Speaking at the international opening of its new automotive design facility in London last night, Shiro Nakamura, chief creative officer of Infiniti and senior VP of Nissan, told TG his plans to take on the BMW 4-Series.
“I want to make a two-door coupe. It’s coming, you’ll see it within one year. It’ll be a production version, a little bit bigger than a BMW 4-Series, but not as big as a 6-Series,” he said.
“As you know, always our sizes are a little bit in between BMW’s sizes. Look at the Q50, that’s between the 3-Series and 5-Series,” he added.
Speaking at the launch, Shiro noted how the two-door coupe would take design elements and cues from the upcoming Paris Motor Show concept, the Q80 (teaser pictured). More interestingly, he also took on TopGear.com’s suggestion that enthusiasm for that Q50 Eau Rouge concept - while still not confirmed for production just yet - should influence a range-topping version of this two-door coupe. The Eau Rouge, don’t forget, is a 560bhp, GT-R engined monster saloon part-developed by Sebastian Vettel.
“We are still working on the Q50 Eau Rouge, and we don’t want to give up on that, but the business case is not that easy,” Shiro admitted. “We believe that it’s a strong statement, and we need a halo car. It’s almost a cost of entry into the premium segment, because you cannot just make affordable cars. Without a halo or performance vehicle, particularly in Europe, people don’t consider you a premium brand.”
So when probed by TG as to whether this new two-door could get the 560bhp treatment too, Shiro’s eyes opened. “An Eau Rouge type car for the two-door? Yes, I like the idea. If we can get a four-door Eau Rouge built, we can get the same for the two-door, using the same [Nissan GT-R] powertrain. That’s a good idea, let me think about it.”
Infiniti of course, is getting a little more serious about its future, too. Former Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen only last year noted how he wanted the brand to remain exclusive, how “we don’t want an Infiniti on every single driveway”. It’s not something that Shiro wants to continue, however.
“We need volume,” he says bluntly. “Otherwise you cannot invest. We’re hoping the Q30 will bring big volume, particularly from Europe and China, because it’s the most affordable Infiniti. Without volume you can’t do anything. This industry is so tough.
“Aston Martin for example, can be niche because they’re expensive cars, but we cannot price ourselves any higher than Mercedes-Benz (on whose A-Class platform the new Q30 hatch sits),” Shiro added.
So there you have it. The Q30 is coming. The QX30 is coming. The Q50 Eau Rouge is still on the cards. There’s a brand new two-door coupe in the wings, the potential for a halo, range-topping car which we’ll get a preview of in Paris next month, and a potential 560bhp BMW M6 rival.
Watch this space…