Hot News: Infiniti Considers to Build Compact Crossover Based-on Merc CLA
The Infiniti’s sheetmetal will be all-new, resembling the brand’s
Etherea concept (pictured at right). This means a relatively high car,
with a hatchback. Indeed, the Mercedes-based Infiniti is almost as high
as a crossover, and we hear it may wear the QX30 badge. Total production
of the QX30, out of Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the U.K., is projected
at 60,000 units a year and, yes, the potential Q3 and GLA competitor
will probably come to the U.S.
Offering the Mercedes-based compact
as a small crossover may allow Infiniti to charge a greater premium
than would be possible with a premium entry-level sedan like the Buick
Verano, Acura ILX, or upcoming Audi A3. The Mercedes CLA’s turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 is likely to be part of the package, and just as Infiniti has tweaked Mercedes’ 2.1-liter turbodiesel for use in the European-spec Q50, don’t be surprised to see minor tweaks made to the QX30′s powerplant, as well.
Also in the compact arena, Infiniti still intends to produce a full
EV, using the Nissan Leaf’s platform. Previewed by the LE concept,
Infiniti chief Andy Palmer said the production car is being delayed
because its headline technology will be inductive charging. This means
owners won’t need to mess around with a dirty charge cable. They merely
park over a contact-free charging pad and it all happens automatically.
“The technology works but there’s no global homologation. We’re
hoping for a global open-architecture standard, and we’re working with
Daimler and Renault for that.”