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First look: Nissan’s 5 Series fighter

Big M: The Infiniti M was revealed in a 3D holographic image at Pebble Beach.

Japanese luxury brand reveals a new rival for BMW’s 5 Series in the Infiniti M

Infiniti logo19 Aug 2009

By MARTON PETTENDY

NISSAN luxury brand Infiniti, the planned Australian launch for which was well advanced before the global financial crisis struck, has revealed an all-new competitor for BMW’s 5 Series and the new Mercedes-Benz E-class.

Simply dubbed the Infiniti M, the sleek new large sedan made its global debut at Pebble Beach in the US last weekend.

The Pebble Beach extravaganza underlines its growing importance on the world automotive stage by also hosting public premieres of Bentley’s new Mulsanne flagship and Bugatti’s new Veyron Grand Sport Sang Bleu edition.

But while the exclusive event in the affluent gated community in northern California also hosted US reveals of Aston Martin’s multi-million-dollar One-77 and the new Jaguar XJ limousine, US pricing for which was also revealed in Monterey, the Infiniti M made only a virtual appearance.

The new sports sedan was revealed as a three-dimensional holographic image at the 59th annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, with these images of the striking new four-door released simultaneously to the media.

16 center imageAlthough it is the third generation M model to emerge from Infiniti, this will be the first to go on sale in all of the Nissan luxury brand’s 32 global markets, including Western Europe.

Expected to be make its official public debut at the Frankfurt motor show on September 15, the 2011 Infiniti M is expected to go on sale globally before the middle of next year.

Nissan says its latest “performance luxury saloon” features an all-new and more curvaceously styled body that was previewed by the Infinity Essence concept car and has coupe-like proportions not dissimilar to Audi’s upcoming A7.

“The new M interior promises to be pure Infiniti, highlighted by the use of innovative materials, an advanced climate control system, superior audio and an enhanced quality feel,” says Nissan, which also promises an all-new engine line-up with reduced fuel consumption.

That is expected to include a version of the 370Z Coupe’s 3.7-litre V6 and a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel sourced from sister company Renault, both driving the rear wheels. It is understood that the four-wheel steer system available on the French brand’s Laguna could also be an M option.

While the petrol V6 should be badged as the Infinity M37, the US market’s V8-powered Infiniti M56 is likely to replaced in Europe by the V6 performance diesel, which could be labelled the Infiniti M30. A lane-change/blind-spot detection system will also debut.

“In addition, the 2011 M will continue Infiniti’s safety innovation leadership with an industry-first Side-Collision Prevention (SCP) system,” said Nissan.

“The SCP system is designed to alert the driver if another vehicle is detected during an intended lane change and help prevent a potential collision by moving the vehicle toward the centre of the original lane of travel. ”

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