News - Infiniti
Infiniti drops one diesel, considers its future
Oil burner: Infiniti will drop the diesel version of its QX70 SUV later this year, but it is likely to be replaced by a new diesel engine.
VW’s indiscretions shake diesel industry, while Infiniti remains loyal to hybrids
18 February 2016
DIESEL engines will remain on the menu at Infiniti in Australia but after
dropping one model, the company admits the fuel is taking a bit of a battering
in other markets.
Forced into the spotlight by the Volkswagen Group diesel emissions cheating
scandal, rivals are quietly reducing comment about the future of the fuel and
its unique engines.
Infiniti Cars Australia managing director Jean-Philippe Roux told GoAuto that
the premium brand would monitor sales of oil-burning variants in its range.
“We will have a watch and see attitude,” he said at the Q70 sedan launch in
“We have two diesel engine models on the market (the Q50 2.2d and the QX70
3.0d) and we see, in Australia, a strong future. But it may be different in
Infiniti does, however, plan to remove the QX70 diesel from the local range
this year but hints that it could be replaced with another diesel engine.
This week Infiniti launched its updated Q70 sedan range that carried over
technology from the previous models. However, the sole diesel variant has
Infiniti Australia general manager corporate communications Peter Fadeyev said
the Renault-sourced V9X 3.0-litre diesel engine in the Q70 was earmarked to end
production only because it could no longer meet future emissions standards.
“It is also used in the QX70 and that engine will become unavailable from the
end of this year,” he said. “We have the four-cylinder 2.2-litre diesel engine
from Daimler available that is a better engine than the V9X in terms of
emissions and fuel economy.
“But this doesn’t mean that all future diesel engines will exclusively come
from Daimler. We can also source from the Renault-Nissan Alliance.”
Because of this open-door policy on engine sourcing, Mr Roux said it was
possible Infiniti may even expand its diesel range.
“We have to look at the right segments for it first,” he said.
Like rival Japanese brand Lexus, Infiniti gains its fuel-economy advantages by
using petrol-electric hybrids and believes hybrid power may be the best
solution going forward with new models.
Its key United States market eschews diesel and along with Japan, has been the
driving force for the expansion of hybrid power not only for Infiniti but
Lexus, Toyota and others.
Infiniti has not announced any new hybrid models but the drivetrain in the Q70
is the same as in the Q50, indicating it can extend into future variants.
One engine that is not coming to Australia in the passenger-car range is the
5.6-litre petrol V8. It powers the QX80 SUV but unlike the US market, Australia
does not get the stonker in the Q70 sedan.
The engine is used in the Nissan Titan and Armada in the US and is the basis
for the engine in the Nissan Altima V8 Supercar race cars.
“We have looked at the V8 as a performance engine but we believe the new VR
engines (3.0-litre bi-turbo V6) have sufficient power and have superior fuel
economy,” Mr Roux said.
Infiniti, as part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, struck a co-operative deal
with Daimler AG in 2010 that allows the sharing of drivetrains and
manufacturing. Each party now holds a 3.1 per cent share in the other.
Aside from the joint-venture Smart and Renault Twingo car, it has led to the
establishment of a factory in Mexico for North American-bound A-Class
derivative Mercedes-Benz models alongside the Infiniti Q30 and QX30.
The right-hand drive Infiniti Q30/QX30 vehicles are made in the United Kingdom
at Nissan’s Sunderland factories.
Share with your friends
Motor industry news
GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.
All Infiniti models
Research cars by brand