Infiniti is getting set to release its sport compact into the luxury market, with the public debut set for the International Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015, almost two years to the day after the introduction of the concept that paved the road for its creation.
The Q30 Premium Active Compact is meant to provide a gateway to the Infiniti brand, delivering exhilarating performance, dynamic handling, comfortable ride and expressive interior and exterior styling to buyers who seek to stand out in a crowded urban vehicle landscape.
“Design is a key pillar of the Infiniti brand – and the new Q30 Active Compact perfectly embodies this approach,” said Infiniti President Roland Krueger. “The Q30 Active Compact delivers the distinctive design, the driving dynamics and the individuality that our customers expect of an Infiniti vehicle. With our first ever entry in the compact car segment, we continue the product offensive and provide additional options for our discerning customers.”
The car will be built at Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) facility in Washington, England (part of the city of Sunderland) that currently also builds the Nissan Juke, Leaf, Note and Qashqai. That makes three continents in which Infinitis are built – North America (U.S.), Asia (Japan and China) and now Europe.
Infiniti is also expected to expand manufacturing to Mexico by 2017 and we wouldn’t be surprised if Q30s for North America would be sourced out of there in order to reduce production costs and, therefore, lower the buy-in to attract more first-time buyers to the Infiniti brand.
Outside of the finalized exterior design, not much is known about the production Q30. The Q30 concept introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt show used a hybrid powertrain (supercharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, making 245 horsepower, and an electric motor to boost power when needed and, of course, reduce fuel consumption). Although we’d be surprised if the production car does, we can’t discount that one of its main competitors is the Lexus CT 200h – a hybrid sport compact.
Just behind the front wheel, there is a 2.2d badge, designating a 2.2-litre diesel engine. Though that will likely be the entry-level powertrain in the European version, it sadly won’t likely make it across the Atlantic. That leads us to believe that dealerships here won’t get the car this year (European deliveries of the 2016 model year car are expected by the end of 2015).
The concept’s power was sent to the front wheels by a continuously variable transmission, and that is expected to continue though we wouldn’t discount all-wheel drive as part of the equation (judging from the clearance between the wheels and bodywork) if not at launch, then certainly down the road.