The luxury car market is a tough field to break into, especially in Europe, where most of the world's premier luxury brands make their home, and have for decades. Nissan's Infiniti brand has done well in the U.S., but it knows it will have to make significant upgrades across its model line to do as well in Europe.

Small things, like beefier window seals and more powerful wiper arms and big things, like seven-speed transmissions and improved interiors will all be on the agenda, with each car getting 300 to 500 changes from American spec to European spec, according to Automotive News.

Those changes are necessary both to compete with the established offerings from BMW, Mercedes, Audi and the like and to withstand the faster highway speeds found in Europe compared to America. More speed means more wind noise, more work for all the exterior elements of the car and a need for bigger, better brakes.

One thing Infiniti doesn't have to add to its cars, and its one thing that has proven a key element to success in Europe, is a four cylinder engine. Over 80% of new car sales in Europe sport four-bangers, and they are common among even the luxury brands. Fuel efficiency is an important consideration for everyone at the equivalent of US$9 per gallon.

Another shortcoming in the engine department: no diesel will be offered until the M gets a diesel V6 in 2010. Still, the company's excellent 3.7L VQ-series V6 engine will be available, and its solid power and excellent reliability are likely to win some converts from the more established luxury brands.

The company plans to eventually sell its entire line-up in Europe, with the exception of the QX SUV.