Infiniti will introduce three new smaller models within three years

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 26, 2010

Within the next three years, Infiniti will add three new smaller models to its range -- an Audi A3 rival, an entry-level SUV and an electric hatch based on the Nissan Leaf. The A3 rival is slated to become its volume seller in Europe.

It will be spun off the next front-drive Mercedes A-class platform as part of the tie-up between Renault/Nissan and Daimler. This platform could also produce the small SUV, according to some Infiniti sources.

Yet another source says that the Nissan Leaf-based electric hatchback will be confirmed "in the very near future." Nissan wants to have an electric Infiniti based on the Leaf to get a higher rate of return on its huge investment to develop the Leaf's platform and battery technology.

There will be a few exterior and interior styling changes but basically, Infiniti's Leaf will be nearly identical to its parent firm's car.

The recent Daimler tie-up could also lead to certain models using Mercedes sourced four cylinder diesel and petrol engines.

Presently, the company only offers V8 and V6 petrol power, with a new V6 diesel coming onstream in the middle of the year. Nonetheless, four-cylinder power is still by far the most popular option in both Europe and China.

Company officials think that Infiniti's growth potential would be better if it uses Mercedes engines. The first all-new model to get the Mercedes-Benz engines is likely to be the next generation G family of saloons and coupes. However, there is a possibility that engineers could hasten the development of a four-cylinder diesel option for its current EX SUV. [via autocar]

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