Infiniti working on a rebadged version of the Nissan Leaf

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 7, 2011

Infiniti, the luxury brand of Nissan Motor Co, will be working on three all-new vehicles (including a family-sized crossover, a compact sedan, and an electric luxury car that would be based on the Nissan Leaf).

Infiniti seeks to raise the market share and sales in the U.S. Last June, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn set a target that by 2016, it will more than triple Infiniti's annual global sales to 500,000 units.

He said that to accomplish this goal, Infiniti will have to be present in over 70 markets with a product range of at least 10 vehicles. Infiniti will also have to add a minimum of three models to its lineup.

With regards to the compact car, Infiniti said that its compact sedan derived from the Etherea concept car seen at the Geneva auto show last March, will come out in either the 2013 or 2014 model year. The car will take Infiniti to a price range that falls below its G series, similar to what BMW did with its more affordable 1 series.

Infiniti's new compact may also lead to numerous model variations, like a coupe for example. The 1 series-fighter will be front drive, which is unusual for Infiniti’s models, which are typically rear-drive. It promises Infiniti's second hybrid powertrain offering since it is built around the proprietary drive system featured in the M hybrid presented this year.

According to Infiniti, this car will be powered by a supercharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 245 hp. It will be fitted with a continuously variable transmission, regenerative braking, independent suspension, and drive-by-wire electric/hydraulic steering.

For the EV, Infiniti plans to launch an electric sedan in 2013 as a 2014 model that’s based on the Nissan Leaf. The Infiniti EV will use the same five-seat dimensions as the Leaf but its exterior design is different and its interior is more luxurious.

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