In­finiti races into part­ner­ship talks

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By PAUL GOVER

A LUX­URY In­finiti that taps into tech­nol­ogy from the Red Bull Grand Prix team is be­ing tipped as part of the Ja­panese brand’s fu­ture prod­uct plan.

In­finiti re­turns to Aus­tralia late next year with a bold prod­uct of­fen­sive, in­clud­ing sports-fo­cused SUVs, af­ter an un­suc­cess­ful first ef­fort in 1990 with a sin­gle lux­ury flag­ship called the Q45.

The com­pany ad­mits it is look­ing to Red Bull as an ex­ten­sion of a spon­sor­ship deal ig­nited at the Aus­tralian Grand Prix in March.

‘‘Our re­la­tion­ship with Red Bull is only five races old, but the tra­jec­tory for it is to move on and work more closely to­gether. One way of do­ing that is on a road car pro­ject,’’ ad­mits Si­mon Sproule, the global head of mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Nis­san.

‘‘Both sides

like the part­ner­ship direc­tion and we are now con­sid­er­ing how to evolve.

‘‘Both our­selves and Red Bull have ex­pressed an open attitude to­wards new op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’

In­finiti is the up­scale divi­sion of Nis­san and part of the Nis­sanRe­nault al­liance, which pro­vides an in­di­rect link to Red Bull through Re­nault’s sup­ply of rac­ing en­gines for the team.

Sproule is quick to down­play any­thing con­crete.

‘‘This is very early days in the In­finiti-Red Bull Rac­ing F1 re­la­tion­ship and there is noth­ing to an­nounce at this point,’’ he says.

‘‘The spec­u­la­tive ques­tions on road cars was raised and so the nat­u­ral an­swer was sim­ply ‘maybe’.

‘‘No pro­gram or plan cur­rently ex­ists, but if the part­ner­ship grows over time . . . we have al­ready said pub­licly that we have started tech­ni­cal pro­ject dis­cus­sions and this is a good first move to see how a deeper part­ner­ship could evolve.’’

Nis­san’s lux­ury car divi­sion, In­finiti, is keen to forge ties with Red Bull

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