For a model that isn’t due until 2015, the Infiniti Q30 looks remarkably close to production. It was unveiled earlier today by the car maker’s Director of Performance, Sebastian Vettel, who took time out from his F1 duties to answer questions about his role in the car’s development.
He was joined by Infiniti’s president, Johan de Nysschen, Regional VP, Fintan Knight and Design Director Alfonso Albaisa in launching the brand’s new premium compact concept.
“We are becoming the younger, trendsetting brand, more relevant and more exciting,” said de Nysschen, “Infiniti Q50, and now the Q30 Concept, deliver on this promise.”
The response from most show-goers was remarkably positive, although it will take time for Infiniti to position the Q30 in the ever expanding premium segment. It’s based on the same Daimler ‘MFA’ platform used in the Mercedes A-Class and is closer in design to the newly launched Mercedes-Benz GLA than the regular A-Class hatchback.
“.. it is not a coupe, not a hatch and not a crossover but a fusion of the three body styles,” and is designed to appeal to a younger audience who might be looking at BMW’s X1 or the Range Rover Evoque.
According to de Nysschen, at the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y customers will represent 80 per cent of buyers in the premium segment, hence Infiniti are positioning the Q30 and Q50 to offer them something ‘a little less German..’.
It is not a coupe, not a hatch and not a crossover..
Yesterday’s launch was the first time we’d got to see the Q30’s interior, which continues the brand’s new design language first introduced in the Q50. Infiniti are determined to deliver new levels of design, materials, fit and finish in a car of this size, seeking to provoke a radical shift in expectations within the premium compact segment.
The Q30 will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant starting in 2015, while the new Q50 sports saloon will go on sale in Europe from mid-November.
After the reveal, Vettel was presented with ‘another’ new helmet to add to his collection, before the brand’s guests were entertained at the exclusive Infiniti GATE party. DJ Erok kicked off the proceedings, followed by the legendary DJ and music producer Paul van Dyk.
Vettel politely excused himself from the evening of revelry, to be replaced by Red Bull Racing test driver Sebastien Buemi.