Infiniti sets sight on bolder high-performance sub-brand

Article by Anita Panait, on January 23, 2014

Infiniti is now eyeing a performance sub-brand that would be able to keep up with its bolder future product plans more than its current IPL performance sub-brand. "What is absent from our product structure today is a line of really thoroughbred, high-end performance cars that take no prisoners," remarked Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen.

“We need a high-performance subbrand." Michael Bartsch remarked that the performance packages need to be more competitive. "We need our own M brand or our own AMG," Bartsch told Automotive News at the Detroit auto show, referring to BMW and Mercedes-Benz's special-package sub-brands. He said that while IPL is already here, it is not “fait accompli” that the sub-brand will be the performance brand for Infiniti. 

IPL stands for Infiniti Performance Line. Infiniti currently offers a Q60 IPL model, formerly badged the IPL G Coupe. In its initial years, IPL has offered a sportier trim package than the standard factory models and concentrated on cosmetics and tuning upgrades.

Since de Nysschen took over the rein at Infiniti, the luxury carmaker is now moving toward an identity that includes larger engines and racetrack-worthy handling parts. De Nysschen is determined to make Infiniti more competitive against Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz -- each of which features a strong performance sub-brand with high-output engines and sturdier components on multiple nameplates.

De Nysschen started modifying existing Infiniti product plans shortly after he became the brand’s top man in 2012. Infiniti is now planning to offer a high-performance luxury flagship above its top-of-the-line Q70 sedan, followed by a high-performance halo car. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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