Infiniti hopes to attract customers in Europe with the Mercedes-powered Q50 diesel

Article by Anita Panait, on March 8, 2013

Infiniti is offering a diesel version of its Q50 sedan, hoping that it would result to a higher demand in Europe. During the current Geneva Auto Show, Infiniti disclosed that the Q50 sedan will be sold in Europe in the autumn with a four-cylinder 2.2-liter diesel from Mercedes-Benz. The engine allows the Q50 to emit below 115 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer and use 4.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers.

This will be the first time that Infiniti is selling a model powered by a four-cylinder diesel engine, thereby driving the brand away from its current image in Europe as an ultra-niche player that specializes in gasoline-powered crossovers.

Infiniti Q50’s toughest challenge in Europe comes in the form of the BMW 3 series. Over half of the new cars sold in Europe are run by diesel engines. Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer, talking to journalists at the sidelines of the Geneva auto show, remarked that Infiniti would also use a V-6 diesel from Mercedes parent Daimler.

The Q50 flagship is a 3.5-liter gasoline-electric hybrid that boasts of 302 hp of power. According to Infiniti’s estimate, the hybrid emits 145 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer and uses 6.6 l liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Infiniti boasts of having the Q50's new steer-by-wire technology as a world first.

Coming as standard on the hybrid and optional on the 2.2d, is the Direct Adaptive Steering system that electronically links the driver's wheel with the front wheels to create steering that the carmaker claims is faster and more precise with fewer transmitted vibrations.

The mechanical link remains in case of malfunctions. The Direct Adaptive Steering also allowed Infiniti to create a lane-keeping technology using the steering rather than the brakes. Infiniti claims that its system was less tiring and gave an improved feeling of control.

Infiniti is planning to roll out a new premium compact hatchback in Europe in 2015. The new premium compact hatchback, which may be dubbed as the Q30, will be produced at Nissan's Sunderland plant in England.

Every sports sedan that Infiniti releases has been known to showcase an excellent presence which is complemented with exceptional proportions. These are present in the new Q50 which brings with it a new aspect in a premium style. That the exterior creates a strong first impression is due to the character line, that is dynamic but at the same time smooth.

This line starts at the vehicle’s “double arch” grille, rising upward before flowing energetically to go through the sides, much like a wave, before eventually merging with the rear section. As such, it results in making the profile more intriguing while making it highly fluid. It also helps to show even more the sporty and dynamic stance of this model.

As mentioned, the Q50 has the “double arch” grille, which is an Infiniti signature when it comes to the design of the exterior. Other well-known design cues are the crescent-cut C-pillar and the dynamic arch roofline. That said, the front section has been made more aggressive. It still has that sport front fascia though which is present on sport models of the Q50.

The grille is new and reveals a textural and three-dimensional quality to it. This is likely due to the chrome surround and the waved mesh pattern surface with its elaborate detailing. A combination of the sharp lines of the marker lights and the unique LED headlights gives this region an appearance that appears almost human.

According to Shiro Nakamura, who is the Chief Creative Officer and Senior Vice-President, the new Q50 has been inspired by the Infiniti concepts dubbed as the “Infiniti Trilogy.” In particular, he added, the main influence is the Essence.

As such, he continued, the new model is able to honor many of the iconic design dynamics that was seen in the previous sports sedans of the brand. Nakamura said further that the tightened and sporty look manages to blend well with the wider and lower proportions and with the roominess of the interior being enhanced, results to that excellent effect, be it the exterior or the interior.

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