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Frankfurt show: Infiniti Q30 teased

Small tease: An Infiniti Q30 concept will appear at Frankfurt, but this is all we've seen so far.

Infiniti’s Q30 small-car previewed ahead of Frankfurt motor show premiere

Infiniti logo8 Aug 2013

INFINITI will show the world a more advanced concept of its first small-segment luxury car at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, which it has confirmed will be called the Q30.

The new five-door range-opener will give the Japanese luxury brand a ready-made rival for the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Lexus CT 200h – all of which are gaining traction as luxury buyers look to smaller, more frugal offerings.

The Q30 will also aim straight for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The battle is of especial significance, because underneath the Infiniti’s curves will sit the same MFA front-drive architecture as used on the baby Benz – a result of a wide-ranging collaboration between Renault-Nissan and Daimler.

Infiniti Australia has confirmed the Q30 will arrive here, probably in late 2014 but potentially not until early 2015. It will, alongside the new-generation, C-Class-rivalling Q50 due here inside six months, spearhead some much-needed sales growth from the brand’s one-year old local subsidiary.

The company has sold 170 cars so far in 2013, an average monthly tally of 24 units. But as we’ve reported, the company last week re-iterated its intention to soldier on and prosper in Australia’s competitive market, against a backdrop of the premature departure of equally new brand Opel.

The shift downstream into the fast-growing premium small-car market will also be a key driver globally, with a substantial role to play in Infiniti’s quest to extend its operations to more than 70 countries worldwide, and triple its sales to 500,000 annually by 2016.

The supplied Q30 teaser image shows the sleek show car will be a stylistic evolution of the Etherea concept that first appeared in early 2011 at the Geneva motor show.

Infiniti promises it will follow the curvaceous template laid down by the larger Q50 sedan, the replacement for the G Series that premiered in Detroit at the start of this year.

The Q30 was at one time to have been built by Austrian third-party Magna Steyr, but is now expected to be manufactured at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK, alongside the Juke and Dualis.

Although Infiniti has not announced details of its small car’s powertrain, dimensions or performance capabilities, it is expected to be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine sourced from Mercedes-Benz under the same technology deal as the MFA platform.

“This Infiniti Q30 Concept is a prelude to the product portfolio expansion which underpins our aggressive global growth strategy,” said Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen.

“In our quest to appeal to the modern, young-minded premium customer, the Infiniti Q30 Concept has a distinctive style and reaches new levels of product quality.” Company styling chief, executive design director Alfonso Albaisa, says the car will be both “muscular” and “seductive” as part of this bold plan to net younger buyers.

“Q30 Concept is slender, sleek and seductive,” he said. “When you see speedy big cats, like cheetahs, they have a slenderness and a lightweight stride. It’s almost like they’re floating. That’s the muscularity we were aiming for with Q30 Concept.”

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