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Frankfurt show: Infiniti reveals its smallest model

Hard to define: Infiniti is yet to explain which segment the Q30 fits in to, but has dubbed its new model a Premium Active Compact.

Infiniti unveils Q30 premium hatch competitor ahead of Frankfurt debut

22 Jul 2015

*UPDATED ON 27/7/15*INFINITI has taken the wraps off its all-important new Q30 premium compact car, revealing a production model that differs little from the concept that broke cover at the Frankfurt motor show two years ago.

Due to officially debut at the same show this September, the small Q30 ‘premium active compact’ will add vital firepower to the Australian Infiniti line-up when early next year and will be pitched against the likes of the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and, not least of all, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class on which it is based.

With only minor aesthetic modifications from the 2013 concept, the production Q30 has a lightly redesigned lower front bumper and less angular skirts, but the chiselled lines, C-pillar kink and company-identifying grille remain.

No technical detail was provided in the release, but Infiniti says the new model will provide “dynamic drive characteristics, responsive performance” and “excellent ride and handling”.

To be built at Infiniti’s Sunderland plant in the UK, the Q30 is the first Infiniti to share a Mercedes-Benz platform – the MFA small-car architecture – under a deal struck between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Mercedes-Benz.

The MFA currently underpins the A- and B-Class, CLA and GLA models from the German manufacturer.

A higher-riding QX30 crossover spin-off is also expected to follow from Infiniti.

While no powertrain options have been revealed, the Nissan-Daimler deal includes an arrangement for Nissan to manufacture Mercedes’ M270 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.

The engine is likely to feature in the Q30 at launch, while a small-capacity diesel is also mooted.

Infiniti Australia has previously stated that it anticipates the Q30 to be a volume seller Down Under, adding an essential lift to the brand’s sales here, which are up 29 per cent in the first half of this year but still low in volume terms – 271 new registrations have been recorded over the period, across its Q50, Q60, Q70 and QX70 model lines.

The new QX80 large SUV was also launched last week.

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