Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
4 minute read
18 Sep 2013
10:00 am

New Infiniti models on the way

Mark Jones

Last week I told you about my trip to the Nissan 360 event in Newport Beach in California where we were exposed to many Nissan and Infiniti products along with the new Datsun Go.

I concentrated on the Nissan products I drove, and this week it is all about Infiniti. My first spin was in the Infiniti Emerg-E Concept which made its debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

It provides an exciting glimpse into Infiniti’s future – and what 1 100 Nm of instant torque feels like along with 300 kW from a car that can operate as exciting zero emission urban transport over a 50 kilometre range.

And when the range extender petrol engine functions in tandem with its twin electric motors, it produces a carbon output of only 55g/km.

You can expect to soon see something like this on our roads.

 

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But, just as in life, everyday reality beckoned and we got to see the soon to be launched Infiniti Q50 that will go head to head with heavyweights like BMW’s 3 Series, Audi’s A4, Merc’s C Class and, even more so, the Lexus IS 350.

The international unveiling of this car should happen in October with local launch said to be at the beginning of 2014. We will be bringing you our driving impressions in due course.

To whet your appetite let me bring you a few comments. Infiniti resident Johan de Nysschen said the exciting, new Infiniti Q50 stretched the boundaries of what a sports sedan can be and propels Infiniti in a bold new direction.

“The new Q50 amplifies every driver’s performance preference and enjoyment behind the wheel,” added de Nysschen.

“We have one of the fastest accelerating hybrid engines, which also happens to be projected as one of the most fuel-efficient.

“We have advanced performance and safety technologies that can see and react before the driver can. And, we have the world’s first quick and precise Direct Adaptive Steering technology.

“The new Infiniti Q50 is a true game changer in the sports sedan segment. With its cutting edge performance, design and technology it breaks away from ordinary – just like the Infiniti brand.”

I finally got to drive the big and bold Infiniti QX 80 that should be in SA at the end of 2014.

This full size SUV is coming to market to take on the Lexus LX 570, the Toyota Land Cruiser and even the German boys in their X5s and MLs.

The second generation Infiniti QX has been totally redesigned from the platform up. Its new high-stiffness frame structure enhances ride comfort while reducing noise, vibration and harshness.

 

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The new 5.6 litre V8 engine combines the responsive acceleration of Infiniti’s VVEL (Variable Valve Event & Lift) technology with the efficiency of Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) and seven-speed automatic transmission.

With 298 kW of power at 5 800 rpm and 560 Nm of torque at 4 000 rpm, the Infiniti QX can handle tasks such as towing boats or trailers (3 850 kg towing capacity), while also offering over 10 percent better fuel economy than the previous generation Infiniti QX.

The Infiniti QX 80 is offered with standard four-wheel drive, featuring Infiniti’s proven All-Mode 4WD system with Auto, 4H, and 4L modes.

The system is designed to distribute torque to all four wheels when road conditions warrant (up to 50 percent can go to the front wheels on demand), helping to enhance traction.

All Infiniti QX models also include Hill Start Assist. With Hill Start Assist, if a driver stops on a slope and steps off the brake pedal, the system will keep the Infiniti QX stationary for a few seconds – with no roll back.

This enables drivers to easily switch from the brake pedal to the accelerator on steep inclines. So you have a go anywhere SUV that can seat eight people, tow your house and climb a mountain with ease.

Inside the distinctive Infiniti QX body – with no fence sitters here when it comes to liking or not liking the exterior styling – is an interior that features acres of sheer luxury.

 

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This includes standard Infiniti Hard Drive Navigation System, Around View, Monitor and Bose two-channel, 13-speaker Premium Audio System, and perforated semi-aniline leather seating and a dual seven-inch colour headrest monitor DVD system which allows different sources to be played at the same time.

Obviously final spec for South Africa will be made available before the vehicle is launched.

Infiniti is relatively new to South African consumers but if they keep bringing product like this to these shores they will quickly begin to make real inroads into the hearts and garages of motorists across the country.