Within the next two years, expect Infiniti to offer models with Daimler-sourced four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, according to the announcement from these two companies with regards to their tie-in. Sources say that the two companies started working on this sharing project months ago.
This collaboration is predicted to save Nissan about a billion Euros in development costs over the next five years. In an interview with Autocar, Nissan senior vice president Andy Palmer said that the key is to keep the identity of the Infiniti brand.
He said that its engineers are working to make sure that the engines are made according to its preferences and will be made "more sporty."
Palmer added that working with Daimler gives them access to engines that they couldn't afford to develop on their own. Palmer said further that the tie-in, which will widen its diesel options, will allow it to enter some key markets.
This solves a developing problem that Nisssan has with the Renault-sourced 3.0-liter V6 diesel, which will not be able to comply with EURO VI emissions requirements. Palmer confirmed that there is a plan to create a rival to the BMW 1-Series that will use Daimler technology. He clarified though that this will go on sale after the launch of Infiniti's electric car, a Nissan Leaf spin-off.
He said that it's highly likely that it will release a small car for the European market, after having seen the emerging market for small premium cars and at what Lexus is doing with the CT200h.
While Nissan doesn't intend to follow the Lexus hybrid model, it does want to create a rival for the 1-series and Audi A3. Nissan also has plans to produce a van-based spin-off of the Leaf and Infiniti's Leaf variant that will both be built in Sunderland. [via autocar]