Set to be launched in 2013, the all-new Infiniti G-series saloon will be available with four-cylinder Mercedes diesel and petrol engines at the start. Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury division, hopes to hit its growth targets in Europe with the launch of two models to compete with the new BMW 3-series and a new Audi A3. Just a thirsty 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine will be offered for the current G-series saloon as well as its coupe and cabriolet siblings.
This means that its European sales don’t actually threaten its rivals in this market where four-cylinder diesel models dominate. Tony Lewis, Infiniti’s regional director for northern Europe, said that it will make certain that from the start, only the right engines will be offered.
The new G-series would also be the model that will receive Infiniti’s new design language, which was most recently seen as a preview on the much-admired Emerg-E concept. Infiniti is planning to sell 500,000 cars globally in 2016. Last year, it only sold 145,000 units. But in the UK in 2011, only 500 units were sold. However, the new G-series and front-drive A3 rival will be the core of an expanded Infiniti lineup that is expected to increase UK volume to 20,000 units by 2016.
The Infiniti Etherea concept seen at the 2011 Geneva motor show is a preview to this rival to the A3. It would use the Daimler MFA platform, which is also used by the A-class and B-class among other small Mercedes models.
The engine lineup of this small Mercedes range will also be used by Infiniti’s first-ever front-drive car. To increase sales, Infiniti plans to expand its European dealer network to 230 by 2016. There are only 55 now. By March 2013, 35 more dealers will open in Europe. Infiniti is hoping that brand awareness would improve significantly by 2016. One way that it hopes to achieve this is by sponsoring Formula One world champions Red Bull Racing.