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Geneva: Infiniti’s diesel crossover could come here

On the list: The Inifiniti EX30d is expected to be a founding member of the re-born Infiniti range in Australia in 2013.

New diesel EX crossover and M large sedan from Infiniti could be sold in Australia

1 Mar 2010

A NEW diesel-powered version of Infiniti’s mid-size EX crossover, aimed directly at Europe and due to make its global debut at the Geneva motor show, could spearhead the Australian reintroduction of Nissan’s luxury brand within three years.

Nissan Australia has confirmed that plans to relaunch Infiniti in Australia that were put on hold due to the global financial crisis in 2008 have been resurrected with the goal of establishing the luxury brand by early 2013 with a full line of sedan, coupe, convertible and SUV models (see separate story).

Infiniti has since confirmed it will use the Geneva show to stage global debuts of its new EX30d variant and all-new large M sedan, which could become the first Infiniti models to be sold in Australia since the unloved Q45 limousine in the mid-1990s.

Shown here in the first official images to emerge ahead of its Geneva premiere, the BMW X3-sized EX30d will hit Europe and the UK – right-hand drive production for which will help Nissan’s Infiniti cause in Australia – fitted with Infiniti’s “bespoke” 175kW piezo-injection 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, which features a compacted graphite iron (CGI) block and produces a “best-in-class” 550Nm of torque from just 1750rpm.

16 center imageFrom top: M37, G sedan and 3.0-litre diesel V6.

Mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission as standard in the EX30d, which comes with more aggressive air intakes to match, the diesel is expected to account for 80 per cent of EX sales in Europe, where sales commence mid-year.

Infiniti claims Nissan-Renault’s new high-tech diesel V6 propels the five-door/five-seat EX30d ‘coupe crossover’ to 100km/h in 7.6 seconds, yet returns preliminary average EU fuel consumption of 8.4L/100km and CO2 emissions of 224g/km.

The V9X, Infiniti’s first diesel engine, will also appear at Geneva in the BMW X5-sized Infiniti FX crossover, which was released in the US in 2008, and the all-new 5 Series-sized M luxury sedan, which makes its world debut at Geneva.

Infiniti’s BMW 3 Series-sized G model line will also emerge in facelifted guise at Geneva, but dates back to 2006 and is unlikely to reach Australian shores in its current generation.

While a sub-G Infiniti small-car is also rumoured, the G sedan opens Infiniti’s existing US range at $US33,250 ($A37,037) and also comprises the G coupe ($US36,050, $A40,156) and G convertible ($UA43,850, $A48,845).

The EX is priced from $US33,800 ($37,650) in the US, where it is powered exclusively by a 221kW 3.5-litre petrol V6 in both all-wheel drive and rear-drive configurations.

The larger (but still five-seat) FX crossover comes in the US with either a 226kW 3.5-litre petrol V6 (FX35) or a 290kW 5.0-litre V8 (FX50), priced from $US42,400 ($A47,230), and will soon reach Europe as the EX30d, which returns 9.0L/100km and 240g/km of CO2.

The full-size QX SUV tops the range at $US56,040 ($A60,423), complete with eight seats and a 239kW 5.6-litre V8 (QX56).

The current M sedan is Infiniti’s most expensive passenger model in the US, priced from $US45,800 ($A51,021).

V6 (M35) and V8-powered (M45) versions can be had in the US, but the redesigned third-generation M sedan eventually will be available in Europe with both 175kW diesel (M30d) and 235kW petrol (M37) power when it arrives there as Infiniti’s sixth model in September.

Like the second generation of Infiniti’s ‘luxury performance saloon’, the MkII M will be available in both AWD and rear-drive layouts, while Nissan has also committed to producing an M35 hybrid version for selected markets in 2011.

The 4945mm-long M sedan’s ‘ducktail’ bootlid design helps return an aerodynamic drag coefficient of just 0.27Cd. While only the petrol V6 is all-aluminium, so too are the M’s doors, boot and bonnet.

High-end M equipment includes a “world-first” Blind Spot Intervention system and ‘Active Noise Control’, plus radar cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision warning systems.

Infiniti says the new M sedan’s interior design and finish set a new benchmark for the US-oriented Japanese brand, which competes directly with Toyota’s Lexus and Honda’s Acura by targeting BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi buyers.

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