Infiniti will launch their Q30 Concept at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, based on the same Daimler ‘MFA’ platform used in the Mercedes A-Class. The Q30, which wasn’t due to appear until 2014, has been brought forward by a year as the company’s president, Johan de Nysschen, seeks to show the exciting changes planned for the marque.
The Q30 represents the latest evolution of the Infiniti design philosophy introduced with the Infiniti Q50, and capturing some of the design cues first shown in the Essence, Etherea and Emerg-e concepts.
It’s been a difficult year for Infiniti as it reclassifies its nomenclature (to adopt the new Q and QX prefix), while sales in the U.S. (it’s largest market) have fallen dramatically – down 33.2% in July compared to this time last year and down 9.1% for the year to date.
The decline has arisen almost entirely from its saloon cars, which showed a decline of 52.8% in July and 26.1% for the year. Infiniti’s SUVs and Crossovers showed growth of 10.5% and 20.1% in the same period, largely due to the QX60 7-passenger crossover (formerly JX).
Infiniti therefore desperately need a reversal in fortunes, starting with the Q50 and following (as soon as possible) with the Q30 compact premium hatch.
“Q30 Concept is slender, sleek and seductive,” said Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director. “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.”
As part of the technology sharing agreement between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan alliance, the Q30 will share the same ‘MFA’ platform as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, together with some of its engines. The styling and dynamics will be all Infiniti though.
While Infiniti’s Director of Performance, Sebastian Vettel, was actively involved in honing the driving dynamics of the Q50, he’s not ‘yet’ applied his magic touch to the Q30, but Infiniti say this will be the first model since his appointment where he will have an influence from its inception.
“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,” said de Nysschen. “This Infiniti Q30 Concept is a prelude to the product portfolio expansion which underpins our aggressive global growth strategy.”
Even though Infiniti are showing the Q30 next month, production is still scheduled for 2015, so we’ll have to wait a little longer for a rival to BMW’s 1 Series and Audi’s A3.
The Q30 Concept will be unveiled at Infiniti’s Frankfurt motor show press conference on 10th September.