Infiniti will soon start production of a new compact car based on its Etherea concept from 2011. The car, which may be labeled a Q30 in line with Infiniti’s new naming practice, will be built at a Nissan plant in the UK and should be revealed towards the end of next year or in early 2015.
There is no confirmation of a U.S. launch, but with rivals either competing in the premium compact segment already or planning to soon, Infiniti will be the odd one out if it chooses to ignore the U.S. market. Increasing the chances for a U.S. launch of an Infiniti compact is news that a crossover version of the Q30, a potential QX30, is in the works.
The key is Infiniti’s decision to base its new Q30 on the platform underpinning the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class, which will have its own crossover version in the form of the GLA Class.
The premium compact crossover segment is booming, not only in the U.S. but in most other developed markets as well. As Motor Trend points out, Infiniti will be able to charge higher prices for the QX30 than it could for the Q30, so this could sway the decision of the brand’s product planners.
In addition, Infiniti plans to launch a production version of its LE electric car concept in the U.S. This model will be based on the Nissan Leaf platform and compete in the premium compact sedan segment. Due to the potential conflict between this model and the Q30, it may mean the U.S. only receives the production LE electric car and QX30 crossover in the end.