A star tryer

The hatch from Nis­san’s lux­ury brand has Benz DNA and car­ries high hopes, writes John Carey

Herald Sun - Motoring - - PRESTIGE -

TO­DAY, only Amer­ica likes Nis­san lux­ury brand In­finiti. The new Q30, which will reach Aus­tralia in eight months or so, is its break­out car.

This small pre­mium hatch­back is the first stage in a grand plan to trans­form In­finiti into a world­wide ri­val for Toy­ota-owned Lexus.

In­finiti has high hopes for the Q30. Its pri­mary mis­sion is to se­duce buy­ers in Europe, where the brand strug­gles, yet this dis­tinc­tively styled five-seater also should boost In­finiti’s pal­try sales in Aus­tralia. This year the brand will sell a bit over 500 cars, the best tally since its 2012 re­launch here.

Ger­man engi­neer­ing and Bri­tish man­u­fac­tur­ing are key Q30 in­gre­di­ents. Shar­ing much of its make-up with MercedesBenz’s range of small cars, in­clud­ing the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA, this In­finiti will be built in a Nis­san fac­tory in the north­east of Eng­land.

This isn’t a spur-of-the­mo­ment job. The Re­naultNis­san Al­liance, which owns In­finiti, signed a strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion deal with Daim­ler, the par­ent com­pany of MercedesBenz, in 2010 and the Q30 is among sev­eral joint projects.

The Q30 has ba­si­cally the same chas­sis as an A-Class hatch­back and uses mostly Mercedes en­gines and gear­boxes. Th­ese in­clude the 1.6 and 2.0-litre four-cylin­der tur­bos and the 2.1-litre turbo diesel that will come to Aus­tralia, all teamed with a Mercedes seven-speed dou­ble­clutch au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

In Europe, op­tions will in­clude all-wheel drive and a 1.5-litre Re­nault-built turbo diesel.

Only the front-drive version will come to Aus­tralia. In­finiti wants to leave some space for the closely re­lated QX30 compact SUV, to fol­low it on sale in late 2016.

With the launch of the Q30 so far away, In­finiti has noth­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.