Infiniti has unveiled a concept version of its new Q30 crossover hatchback at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new Q30 features a slightly raised ride height, sweeping roofline and self-assured looks – all designed to attract younger buyers expected to account for 80 percent of global luxury car-buyers by 2020. Infiniti plans to focus the Q30’s global production at its Sunderland site in the United Kingdom with an annual output of 50,000 units from 2015.
The luxury carmaker also plans to sell the Q30 in North America and China. Once built, the Q30 will become Infiniti’s second-biggest seller behind the new Q50, which is being produced at an annual output of 65,000 units. Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti president, remarked that the shape of the Infiniti Q30 concept “deliberately challenges categorization,” noting that it is neither a coupe nor a hatch nor a crossover so that it would entice younger buyers who “desire to disrupt convention."
The Q30 concept is described as 95 percent faithful to the 2015 production version, both on exterior and interior styling. Leading the styling team for the Q30 is none other than Infiniti’s head of design Alfonso Albaisa. He describes the Q30 as having “contours sculpted with fluidity” and its side profile as having “artistry and ambition.” The Q30 boasts of a rising beltline as well as sheet metal decorated with sharp-edged styling features.
According to Infiniti designers, these shapes can be pressed in production sheet metal, as their engineers in Japan are working out to find a way to realize this process. Albaisa remarked that the aim was “to sculpt the panel surfaces as if they were hand-formed by craftsmen in an Italian coachbuilding workshop."
The production version of the Q30 concept is expected to don elements of the Audi A3 and Q3. Styling cues from the A3 includes the sweeping roofline and hatchback proportions, while design elements from the Q3 includes raised ride height and slightly elevated driving position. The Q30 is longer, wider and taller than an A3, thanks to its dimensions of 4.46m x 1470mm x and 1850 mm.
The interior of the Q30 concept provides a glimpse into the carmaker’s ambition to lead the premium segment in the areas of interior design and quality. Infiniti’s determination to achieve this goal is well exemplified by the Q30 Concept, in particular its interior. Infiniti especially gifted the new Q30 Concept with an interior that isn’t just warm and inviting but one that also provides an emotionally engaging experience for its occupants.
Infiniti’s designers were able to attain this goal by taking advantage of the artistic freedom to create highly sculptural shapes, as evidenced by the distinct execution of the brand’s "dual wave" effect and the pursuit of the notion of dissymmetry.
Dissymmetry is considered as an unconventional approach in vehicle design. However, when done right, it gives design elements – like the air vents, armrests and instrument clusters -- with a sculpted visual appeal. This approach lends the interior of the Q30 Concept a styling that contrasts with other premium cars in the market.
The design team for Infiniti Q30 Concept took inspiration from the insight about younger and younger-minded premium customers.