Gap of lux­ury

In­finiti reck­ons it sees an opening in the pres­tige mar­ket – but at what price

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

by mak­ing it a ‘‘ bud­get pres­tige’’ brand.

‘‘ That just de­feats the pur­pose of be­ing in this mar­ket. Peo­ple buy th­ese types of ve­hi­cles on value and im­age, not price,’’ he says. ‘‘ The younger Gen Y buy­ers are look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent. In many cases they see Euro­pean pres­tige cars as rep­re­sent­ing their par­ents’ val­ues.’’

So In­finiti wants to be dif­fer­ent, right down to the de­sign of its cars with the sig­na­ture bulging front guards push­ing up in to the bon­net. Snell knows the look won’t suit the con­ser­va­tive crowd— and is happy about it.

The FX all-wheel-drive SUVs are ex­pected to ac­count for more than 80 per cent of In­finiti sales for the first 12 to 18 months, head­lined by the V8-pow­ered FX50S. The M35h hy­brid will be the only sedan in the line-up at launch but will be fol­lowed by the smaller G Coupe and G Con­vert­ible to­wards the end of the year.

In­finiti has tapped the re­sources of the Nis­sanRe­nault al­liance, tak­ing two of the best en­gines: the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel from Re­nault and the 3.7-litre petrol V6 best known in Nis­san’s sporty 370Z.

VALUE

With no news from the Aus­tralian arm, Carsguide checked the Bri­tish In­finiti web­site, which shows the FX range has four ba­sic spec lev­els, GT, GT Pre­mium, S and S Pre­mium. Prices start about $74,000 for the base FX37, with

Aim­ing high: In­finiti will be happy if Gen Y look at the FX50S and do not see their par­ents’ SUV

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