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Jan
08

Brand-new Infiniti Q50, QX50 to Enter China with a Roar

infiniti_china_festival

Pop star Katy Perry will take the stage at the 2014 Infiniti China Brand Festival in Beijing on January 11, helping to set the stage for the Chinese debut of the all-new Infiniti Q50 sport sedan and Infiniti QX50 crossover. It will be the first appearance in the world’s largest auto market for all three.

Perry, of course, is a Grammy-Award-winning singer, songwriter and actress whose hits include “Roar,” “Teenage Dream” and “Firework.”

The Infiniti Q50 is the brand’s high-tech showpiece, boasting an industry-first drive-by-wire system that was this year’s Popular Science Grand Award winner for automotive technology. Even more recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognized the car with a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety protection, while the IIHS honored it as one of just three entries in its class to earn the new, stricter Top Safety Pick+ designation for 2014.

As the No. 1 Luxury SUV/Crossover in its class in the Kelly Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards, the Infiniti QX50 offers drivers plenty of advantages as well, including a 325-horsepower V-6 engine that still delivers up to 25 mpg highway, intelligent all-wheel drive, a full suite of connectivity/infotainment features and a luxurious cabin with heated seating and maple accents.

Said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti: “Last year, we established our global company headquarters in Hong Kong in order to be even better positioned to serve China, the world’s largest luxury market. We are expanding our product portfolio with two new models especially for the Chinese market in 2014 and plans are underway to significantly increase the dealer network from currently 60 to 80 dealers in 2014.”

Sources: http://infinitinews.com/en-US/infiniti/usa/releases/katy-perry-to-perform-at-infiniti-brand-festival-in-china and http://infinitinews.com/en-US/infiniti/usa/releases/infiniti-announces-two-vehicles-for-production-in-china

Written by Charles Krome.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motor Company.

Aug
27

2014 Infiniti Q50 Puts Audiophiles in the Front Row

The recently launched 2014 Infiniti Q50 turns up the volume in the luxury sport-sedan segment, as well as the clarity, bass and more. It’s all courtesy of a premium audio system from Bose that premieres the company’s Advanced Staging Technology in a Nissan vehicle. The setup was specifically designed to provide a custom listening experience for owners of the new Q50, following an approach that has long been a hallmark of the nearly 25-year partnership between Infiniti and Bose.

“The car cabin is extremely different compared to a home living-room environment,” explained Bose representative Hiroshi Miyazaki. “There are a lot of reflective surfaces that can sharply affect the sound.”

But that’s not an issue in the 2014 Infiniti Q50, since the range-topping Bose system includes 14 high-performance speakers, including three 10-in. woofers, all strategically placed within the cabin for an optimum listening experience. As you might expect from a lux entry like the Q50, those Bose components can provide playback from AM/FM/CD/XM/HD/MP3 sources, complemented by standard USB ports, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and voice-recognition capabilities.

Even better, according to Miyazaki: “When you actually crank up the audio system with the powerful 10-in. speakers in the front doors, as well as one in the rear, I believe consumers will not only hear the impact, but they will feel that impact in their chest, in their bodies, just like they would at a live concert.”

The 2014 Infiniti Q50 is on sale now, priced from $36,700 with standard equipment like a 3.7-liter 328-horsepower engine that delivers up to 30 mpg, independent front and rear suspensions with Dual Flow Path shocks, automatic on/off LED headlights, eight-way power-adjustable driver and front-passenger seats, and Infiniti’s “InTouch” dual display-screen vehicle management technology with seven- and eight-in. screens.

Source: http://infinitinews.com/en-US/infiniti/usa/releases/video-report-unique-sound-system-on-infiniti-q50-delivers-a-concert-in-the-car

Written by Charles Krome.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti.

Jul
11

Infiniti QX Satisfies Owners in AutoPacific Survey

2013 Infiniti QX AutoPacific’s New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey indicates how satisfied vehicle owners are with their purchase. The Infiniti QX56 recently topped the Luxury/Large SUV category in this year’s June survey.

“We’re incredibly pleased to be recognized by AutoPacific, both for the QX56 and Infiniti’s overall satisfaction improvements,” Ben Poore, vice president of Infiniti Americas, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement speaks volumes about the men and women who have committed themselves to Infiniti’s Total Ownership Experience. From manufacturing to design, all the way through purchase and aftersales, we have a dedicated group of individuals working as a team to provide compelling products and outstanding service. They should all be incredibly proud of their hard work.”

Redesigned for the 2011 model year, the Infiniti QX56 carries over with few changes into 2013. These include now-standard auto-dim rearview mirrors, an update to the Around View Monitor system (also standard) and additions to the Theater Package. A new exterior color, Smoky Quartz, is also available.

Written by Joel Arellano.

Photography courtesy of Infiniti

Jun
24

Infiniti Turns on Electricity for Future Vehicles

infiniti emerg-e concept Infiniti doesn’t want you plugging in your next electric vehicle.

At least, that’s the tentative plan. The automaker is looking to do away with plugs and cables for its future electric vehicle (EV), based on the Nissan Leaf. Instead, this Infiniti EV will use induction technology to recharge its batteries.

Induction charging, also known as wireless charging, recharges a device’s battery by simply placing it near or on top of a charging plate. Electric current from the plate is induced into the battery, energizing it. EVs using such technology simply park over the charger and wait. Since the entire process is performed electromagnetically, both the vehicle and the plate can be sealed from the elements like rain and snow. States Andy Palmer, executive vice president at Nissan and Infiniti: “The whole concept of not having to couple up cables to a plug socket, dragging them on the ground and on you as you go, is in keeping with luxury motoring.”

Potential buyers of such a “luxury motoring” feature may have a long wait, though. Both Palmer and Infiniti would like standards established on wireless charging across the automotive industry as part of its EV plans. Until then, automakers will have to create their own unique systems which may not be compatible with others.

infiniti essence concept Infiniti will not be waiting for such standards on its upcoming sports car. Separately developed from the EV, this vehicle will be powered by one of the hybrid powertrains showcased in the Emerg-e and Essence concepts. Infiniti has been mum which one, though: The Emerg-e powers up with a 1.2-liter gas engine and two electric motors while the Essence uses a 3.7-liter V-6 coupled to a single motor. One engine that didn’t make the cut is the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 block from the Nissan “Godzilla” GT-R. Per Palmer: “There are all sorts of issues [regarding the engine], especially around NVH [noise, vibration and harshness]. Our target customers are not people who compromise, so we need to ensure we deliver the best of everything.”

Infiniti has not indicated when its EV will be available for sale. On the other hand, the automaker is aiming to roll out its hybrid sports car to dealerships sometime in 2016.

Written by Joel Arellano.

Apr
27

2013 Top Safety Pick Winners Include Infiniti M

2013 Infiniti M Infiniti adds another feather to its safety cap. The IIHS has selected the 2013 Infiniti M as one of the recipients for its coveted Top Safety Pick awards. The large luxury sedan joins the EX crossover, which was also recognized by the nonprofit organization last year.

To receive the award, the M had to achieve a “Good” score in front, side, rollover and rear crash tests. Note the IIHS only evaluated the M37 and M56 trims. It didn’t test either the M56x or M Hybrid. Also, none of the models were subjected to the all-new small overlap front crash test.

States Ben Poore, vice president for Infiniti America: “Since they were first introduced, the Infiniti M37 and M56 have been showcases for Infiniti’s advanced, user-focused technologies, including an array of safety features and systems. The IIHS ‘Top Safety Pick’ designation is important validation of our efforts in providing a performance luxury experience crafted to a higher standard.”

Both sedans also received 5-Star overall safety ratings from the federal NHTSA as well.

This is the last year for the M. It has been designated the Q70 as part of Infiniti’s new naming scheme for its 2014 models.

Written by Joel Arellano.

Apr
26

Video Watch: Infiniti Q50, FX Versus Red Bull 9

You’re an automaker, and you want to show–no, prove– that your latest offerings have the oomph to leave the competition behind. So what better way to prove your speed cred than filming your rides going head-to-head against real race cars.

That’s what Infiniti did with its Q50 sedan and FX crossover. Both hit the Circuit de Catalunya race track in Barcelona, Spain, to go against Formula One’s (F1) Infiniti Red Bull 9 (RB9).

F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber put all three vehicles through their paces. First up were the RB9 and the 2014 Infiniti Q50. While we don’t have the specs for the 9, we do know that the Q50 — formerly known as the M sedan — is powered by a 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V-6 engine coupled to a seven-speed automatic. This powertrain generates an estimated 328 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. The winner was never in doubt in the video: After a few seconds of close-ups and scene-splicing, the Q50 pulled ahead of the RB9.

The Infiniti FX was up next. This was no ordinary one, either. This crossover, called the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition, was inspired by Vettel himself. Carbon fiber, used in F1 race cars, composed the FX’s side skirts, rearview mirror housing and available roof wing. Vettel, who had a hand in every part of the limited edition’s development, continued the racing motif in the interior, replacing the leather inserts in the center of the seats with Alcantara and strategically placing carbon fiber on door trims and dash panels. Finally, Infiniti retuned the FX’s already potent 5.0-liter V-8 tuned to blast 414 horsepower and 383 lb.-ft. of torque.

The RB9 held its own against Vettel’s creation. Oh-so-slow footage has the race car passing the crossover. But as any racing fan knows, it’s never over until the checkered flag drops. In a collage of car part scenes, badges, and even a shot of a helicopter recording the race, the positions changed among the three vehicles. The Q50 crossed the finish line as the winner with the FX Vettel Edition in second place. The RB9 was so frustrated that it found itself in slow-mode circles as it spun out of control.

Yes, the above one-minute film is fictional. Infiniti did make the point that its cars are sporty. The 2014 Infiniti Q50 goes on sale both here in the U.S. and abroad sometime this summer. Pricing starts at $37,355, which includes $905 in destination and delivery.

Production of the Infiniti FX Vettel Edition is scheduled to begin on June 2013. Only 150 models will be built.

Apr
16

F1 Driving Champ Vettel Joins Infiniti as Director of Performance

When Infiniti decided to hire a new Director of Performance to help develop its next generation of premium vehicles, the brand went straight to the expert: Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel, the three-time F1 driving champion and on-track leader of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team. This is no mere press stunt, either, as Vettel’s expertise already has helped Infiniti fine-tune the driving dynamics of vehicles like the all-new Infiniti Q50 sport sedan and the limited-run Vettel Edition Infiniti FX.

“Sebastian’s talent and ability behind the wheel is unquestionable, and his role in developing Infiniti vehicles has already proven invaluable,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti. “How many premium automotive brands can honestly say its vehicles have been developed alongside a triple World Champion?

“As our technical collaboration with Infiniti Red Bull Racing continues to deepen, so does our relationship with Sebastian who will be crucial to the development of our future vehicle lineup, ensuring Infiniti stands for passion and performance in a brand that challenges the status quo.”

“I am really happy to extend my relationship with Infiniti and become their Director of Performance,” added Vettel. “Helping to develop the Infiniti Q50 was a very different type of driving duty for me but I approached it in exactly the same way as I do my Formula One car. I am looking forward to working closely with Infiniti in developing more of their road cars into the future.”

But don’t expect his off-track duties to slow him down during the racing season. In fact, Vettel captured his first win of 2013 in just the year’s second event, catapulting him into the lead in the current driver’s standings.

Apr
05

Infiniti Trickles Out Pricing, MPG Details on 2014 Q50 Sedan, QX60 Hybrid Crossover

2014 Infinti Q50 rear leftAt the 2013 New York International Auto Show, Infiniti released more details on its 2014 Q50 luxury sport sedan and full-size QX60 Hybrid crossover.

Infiniti primarily covered pricing for the Q50, formerly known as the G37 sedan. The lineup breaks into three tiers–base, Premium and Sport–with each tier broken down further into rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive trims. The base model starts at $37,355, which includes $905 for destination and handling. According to the automaker, the 2014 Q50 is roughly $900 less than its 2013 counterpart. A hybrid powertrain, new to the model, is available for Premium and Sport trims. The top-of-the-line Q50 Hybrid Sport with all-wheel drive starts at a whopping $48,805. A seven-speed automatic is the lone transmission.

Nissan has not released fuel-economy figures on its luxury marque at the time of this post. We expect Q50 sedans equipped with the V-6 will get similar numbers to the 2013 G7, i.e., 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. The Q50 Hybrid, which borrows its engine and electric-motor combo from the Infiniti M35h/Q70, will probably have the same mpg estimates  (i.e., 27 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 29 mpg combined.)

2014 Infiniti QX60 front rightThe Infiniti JX went on sale in 2012 as a 2013 model. It has been renamed the QX60 as part of Nissan’s naming scheme for its luxury brand. The QX60 lineup now expands to include a hybrid version for the new model year.

The 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid replaces its standard 3.5-liter V-6 with a supercharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder and electric-motor powertrain. Unlike most hybrids, Infiniti positioned the lithium-ion batteries so there was no loss of interior spacing. The hybrid’s 250 horsepower is also on par with the standard V-6 engine. Infiniti has not released official fuel-economy figures, but says the QX60 Hybrid gets a 24-percent boost in combined mpg. Buyers are expected to pay a $3000 premium for the hybrid model.

Both the 2014 Infiniti Q50 and QX60 will roll out onto dealership floors later this summer.

Mar
20

2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid to Launch as Most Efficient Seven-seat Luxury Crossover SUV

Infiniti is set to expand its growing prowess in luxury hybrid technology with the debut of the 2014 QX60 Hybrid at the upcoming New York Auto Show. Already one of the brand’s most in-demand vehicles, the premium seven-seat crossover (formerly known as the JX) will now appeal to an even wider range of discerning customers, thanks to a fuel-economy gain of 24 percent over the non-hybrid model. In fact, with the QX60 Hybrid expected to return 26 mpg in combined driving, it will be the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its segment.

The advance comes courtesy of Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid system, which combined with an electric motor and supercharged 2.5-liter  four-cylinder engine, produces a total of 250 horsepower. Because the system’s lithium-ion batteries are so compact, engineers were able to place them beneath the third row of seating in a way that doesn’t impact room for passengers or gear.

Once the 2014 QX60 Hybrid goes on sale later this year, Infiniti will offer customers a trio of vehicles with Direct Response Hybrid tech. The other two models are the Q70 Hybrid sport sedan (aka, the M Hybrid) and the all-new Q50 Hybrid sedan, which debuted earlier in 2013. The former offers traditional levels of premium performance, with 360 horsepower on tap, but also posts an EPA rating of 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway/29 mpg combined. The latter, positioned near the entry point of the Infiniti lineup, wears the same taut and athletic design cues as the Infiniti Essence concept, and helps set a new design direction for the brand. .

Pricing for the 2014 Infiniti lineup—which will introduce a new naming strategy for the brand—will be provided at a later date.

Feb
15

Infiniti Reveals New 2013 RB9 in England

Showcasing its most exclusive, most athletic offering ever, Infiniti was on hand to introduce the RB9 to the public recently at a special event in Milton Keynes, England. Of course, fans needn’t bother trying to find one at their local dealerships, since the extremely limited edition vehicles will be driven solely to the Infiniti Red Bull Formula 1 racing team.

More specifically, the racecars will be piloted by three-time F1 driver’s champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate, Mark Webber, who has nine Formula 1 event wins to his credit. Both will be behind the wheel of an RB9 for the 2013 season—which opens in Australia on March 15—and both are looking forward to enjoying the benefits of an enhanced Infiniti/Red Bull partnership. Not only has the premium automotive brand signed on to continue its role as title sponsor of the team, but Infiniti also has stepped up this year to become the squad’s exclusive Vehicle Performance Partner.

The strengthened relationship also is reflected in the new livery for the RB9, boasting prominent Infiniti graphics and extensive use of the company’s signature purple color.

“Our new, increased partnership as Infiniti Red Bull Racing is a key milestone for Infiniti and a clear indication of our commitment to building the brand globally,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti. “While the first 24 months delivered outstanding results for both parties, our deeper involvement, which now sees us truly integrated as one team, will bring significant benefits to our people, processes and technology. We go into the 2013 season and beyond with a shared objective to deliver world-leading performance on the track and the road.”

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