In­finiti aims up

Lux­ury brand has BMW and Lexus in its sights

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

In­finiti re­fuses to set sales tar­gets, or get spe­cific about much be­yond its first three deal­er­ships in Sydney, Mel­bourne, Bris­bane and its four start-up cars. But is still talk­ing up its chances.

‘‘ These are bold cars. We’re a per­for­mance lux­ury car,not a tra­di­tional con­ser­va­tive car,’’ head of In­finiti Aus­tralia Kevin Snell tells Cars­guide. ‘‘ We don’t do base mod­els that are un­der-pow­ered.

‘‘ We’re not go­ing af­ter lowspec or low-power pres­tige brands that are bought for the badge. These are cars for peo­ple who want to drive.’’

In­finiti’s head­liner is the FX SUV, priced from $83,900 for an FX 37 GT with 3.7-litre V6 up to— for now—$94,900 for the FX30d with 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel. Even­tu­ally an FX50, at $114,900, will have a 287kW V8.

The mid-sizeMsedan starts with a 3.7-litre V6 at $85,900. The M35 with 3.5-litre V6 hy­brid pow­er­train is $99,900.

Late in the year there will be G coupe and con­vert­ible mod­els, with prices to be re­vealed. An all-new G sedan ar­rives in about 18 months.

Snell con­firms a Lexus-style ap­proach to equip­ment lev­els, with fully loaded spec­i­fi­ca­tion sheets— big wheels, punchy au­dio, leather trim, bi-xenon head­lamps and much more— across the In­finiti fam­ily. There are ex­tras but In­finiti is avoid­ing a never-end­ingBMW style list of op­tions.

‘‘ We think the FX looks best with 20-inch wheels, so that’s what it has. Stan­dard,’’ he says.

He also trum­pets a four-year war­ranty with pre­mium road­side as­sis­tance that even in­cludes fam­ily break­downs in non-In­finiti cars.

But there is noth­ing from him on the tough stuff— sales pro­jec­tions. ‘‘ We’re not try­ing to sell thou­sands of cars in our first year. It’s three deal­ers and four cars,’’ he says.

‘‘ It’s a con­trolled launch. We’re go­ing for a trickle-down ap­proach. I’mnot go­ing to give a spe­cific sales num­ber.’’

In re­al­ity— and in­BMW style— In­finiti is go­ing first for the early adopters who are pre­pared to splash their cash for some­thing new, dif­fer­ent and a bit spe­cial.

‘‘ We be­lieve we’ve got the prod­uct and the brand,’’ Snell says.

His five-year plan is to matchBMWon the driv­ing front and Lexus for cus­tomer ser­vice, with the Ja­panese brand in the cross-hairs.

FX cross­over: The In­finiti SUV starts the range at $83,900

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.