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Infiniti’s JX seven-seat crossover revealed

Upper echelon: Infiniti’s JX seven-seat crossover will target the cream of the luxury SUV crop.

Seven-seat luxury crossover might join local Infiniti range above FX mid-sized SUV

Infiniti logo13 Jul 2011

By MIKE COSTELLO

INFINITI has given the world its first glimpse of the forthcoming JX seven-seat luxury-crossover ahead of its North American release in the first half of next year.

The JX, which will have its global reveal at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance on August 18 before being shown in full production form at the Los Angeles Auto Show this November, is also a chance to join Infiniti’s local line-up after the brand relaunches here late next year.

The JX concept teaser image, revealed at exactly 7:07 am in honour of its seven-seat configuration, continues the signature swoopy design language of the Nissan luxury brand while taking cues from the “crescent cut” design of the Essence concept car from 2009.

Infiniti Americas vice president Ben Poore said the Infiniti JX would be the seven-passenger antidote to ho-hum luxury crossovers.

Infiniti Cars Australia general manager Kevin Snell told GoAuto: “Whilst not yet confirmed for Australia (JX) is certainly on our radar, and we are working closely with Japan on the business case for a potential introduction after our initial launch phase.”

16 center imageLeft: Initial JX teaser sketch. Below: Infiniti FX, Essence concept and Etherea concept.

Mr Snell said it would be an “excellent complement” to the mid-sized FX SUV, which will be one of the luxury brand’s foundation models and which will have vehicles such as the Lexus RX firmly in its sights.

As GoAuto confirmed in March, Nissan will relaunch the Infiniti brand in Australia in September next year with at least three models – the FX, the G37 mid-sized coupe and convertible and the M large sedan.

Alongside the JX, other possible additions to the luxury brand’s local line-up include the next-generation, Lexus IS-rivalling G sedan range, the EX premium compact SUV, and even a small hatchback aimed at the BMW 1 Series and previewed by the Etherea concept at this year’s Geneva show.

“These launch models will be further complimented by a range of exciting additions in the subsequent years as Infiniti globally accelerates its growth ambitions toward the target of 10 per cent share of global luxury sales by 2016,” said Mr Snell.

“This will be achieved by expanding the product range beyond 10 different models by 2016 (versus seven models today), entering new markets and leveraging strategic co-operations such as the one we have with Daimler for power train development.” Infiniti and Daimler announced a wide-ranging strategic cooperation in April last year, including the sharing of platforms, engines and collaboration on commercial vehicle development.

The deal also saw the automotive giants acquire a symbolic 3.1 per cent cross-ownership of each other under a share-swap arrangement.

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