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.
The 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.