See what we did there? Whenever we write about Infiniti our goal is to subtly add-in a reference to Buzz Lightyear and luckily for us, Infiniti has made the task a whole lot easier.
To prepare itself for a broader array of products, the company is renaming its entire product portfolio for the 2014 model year, returning to the letter “Q” as a prefix for every car and “QX” for every crossover and SUV.
The change means that Infiniti’s current lineup of saloons, coupes and convertibles will become the Q50, Q60 and Q70, while Infiniti’s EX35 crossover will become the QX50, and the FX crossover will be changed to QX70. Infiniti’s second most popular car, the JX crossover, will be renamed as QX60, while the Range Rover sized QX56 SUV with its 5.6-litre V8, will become the QX80.
Which means the product numbers increase as the cars get bigger, except for the QX70 which is smaller than the seven-seat QX60. Infiniti has also chosen to separate the numerical suffix from the models actual engine size, because you know how well that already works with BMW’s 2.0-litre turbocharged 328i..
See, we told you it was beyond the understanding of mere humans.
Today’s G37 becomes the Q60, even though it is completely unrelated to the QX60, and the current M35/M37 will now be known as Q70.
The man to thank (or blame) for this ‘simplification’ of Infiniti’s naming strategy is Johan de Nysschen, worldwide president of the brand, who joined Infiniti in July to lead the charge for Nissan’s luxury car maker to attain a 10% share of the global luxury car market by 2016. He joined from the top seat at Audi of America, where he experienced a similar change in 1994.
“I have experienced this once before in my lifetime.. everybody thought the end of the world had arrived. But actually, it went very, very smoothly.” said Nysschen.
He went on to say, “Over the past few months, we have talked at length with our retailers, our customers, and our business partners about our brand. The need for a new identity and direction to promote consumer familiarity with our model range as we expand the portfolio became evident. To achieve this, we clearly needed a simple and consistent nomenclature framework.
“After exhaustive research and evaluation, we concluded that ‘Q’ captured the inspiration within the next generation of Infiniti models, as well as emphasising our performance credentials while harking back to our heritage with the Q45 – Infiniti’s first iconic flagship product in 1989.”
Infiniti’s new product nomenclature will be implemented as new model year variants are introduced, so the first test will come with the all-new Q50, which replaces the G class and will premiere at the North American International Auto Show in January 2013.
So there you have it – simplicity personified. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand, but it helps.