The growing push towards smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles is leading the charge for changing consumer perceptions of what defines a luxury car--with size no longer the differentiator but rather technology, quality and design. Nowhere is this more the case than in Europe where even the luxury automakers have considerable success with small hatchback models like the BMW 1-Series, Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A- and B-Class.
We can also add Lexus to that list thanks to the new CT 200h and soon Infiniti may be up there as well. Renault Nissan’s recent alliance deal with Daimler means platform sharing between the two could yield a new small car platform for Infiniti.
According to latest reports, Renault-Nissan is in talks with Daimler over a possible deal to borrow a platform for a new Infiniti vehicle that would be positioned below the current G Sedan and Coupe and sold in the U.S. as well as Europe. If the talks prove successful, the new Infiniti model would use engines and a platform sourced from Daimler and be priced lower than any model Infiniti currently has on offer.
Infiniti is well aware of the market potential of launching a more affordable model but of course there will be fears that entering a lower price point may dilute the brand. Infiniti is not too worried, however, as its rivals already compete quite successfully at the affordable end of the new car spectrum and many of the new model’s sales would attract customers that previously may have looked at a used luxury car.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard about Infiniti looking at a new small car. Back in July we reported that Infiniti was considering launching a new front-wheel drive model and further down the track there are plans to launch an all-electric car based on the same platform as the Nissan Leaf.