We’re nearer to Infiniti
Nissan’s luxury range will come to Australia next year, writes Paul Gover
NO one will have any trouble spotting a new Infiniti in Australia, based on the concept car it has ready for the Geneva Motor Show.
Infiniti has gone all-out with an over-the-top dream machine called the Etherea for the first major European motor show of 2011.
Only a mother would call it beautiful. It looks more like a cartoon character than anything that is remotely suitable for the road.
But Infiniti is pushing the edges as it works to create an upscale following with Europe luxury buyers who are happy in Audi-Benz-BMW showrooms.
The concept is aimed at younger buyers who are more likely to defect.
‘‘It is not just a smaller version of a typically conservative and traditional luxury car. Etherea is about a new type of luxury for younger buyers,’’ says Toru Saito, leader of the Global Infiniti Business Unit.
The Etherea comes after Infiniti’s early European success with its SUVs and it’s now looking for something extra from a crossover that is similar in size to a Nissan Tiida.
It’s a hugely sculpted shape with all sorts of curves and cutouts, as well as a chopped-off tail and drop-down nose.
Nissan, the parent of Infiniti— like Lexus and Toyota — is protective of its new child and says the Etherea concept ‘‘blends elements of coupe, sedan, hatchback and even crossover in one highly sculptural, near-mono volume form’’.
It could also be described as a try- hard effort that’s a mish-mash-mash of ideas and aspirations.
But Infiniti is pushing the edges and its current production models — from the SUVs to sports coupes — have a distinct look that works in the US and Europe.
Infiniti is on the launch pad in Australia, but customers will not get cars until 2012 because Nissan Australia plans to wait until it gets the right cars at the right prices. The brand failed once before, in the early 1990s, and Infiniti must be priced right for success the second time.
Curvy: The Etherea ‘‘blends elements of coupe, sedan, hatchback and even crossover’’.