2014 Detroit Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Infiniti will launch two high-performance flagship models, featuring powertrains with as much as 600 horsepower, according to Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Co., speaking at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
- One vehicle will be positioned "well above" the current Infiniti Q70 sedan, while the other will be "more sports-oriented."
- Infiniti plans a major product offensive from 2016 through 2019.
DETROIT — Infiniti will launch two high-performance flagship models, featuring powertrains with as much as 600 horsepower, according to Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Co., speaking at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
Infiniti has been considering flagship models for several years, with both the Infiniti Essence and Emerg-E sports concept cars being explorations of the issue.
But production versions of the Emerg-E and Essence "will not be coming," said de Nysschen.
Instead, there will be a "high-performance flagship positioned well above the Q70, and also a halo high-performance car for the brand," he said.
One will have multiple seats, while the other will be more sports-oriented.
"It will not be midengined like the Emerg-E, nor a hybrid," de Nysschen said. "We've got to use the powertrain in more than one car for economies of scale reasons, so it can't be midengined."
With the launch of these models, Infiniti will have range-spanning outputs of "160-600" horsepower, he said.
Infiniti's mainstream model range is also developing quickly, "although the growth won't begin yet," said de Nysschen.
"But the new-product cadence will be very strong from 2016 through to 2019, with two major launches every year. We're having to stagger the launches to give our engineers breathing space," he added.
The first major model will be the Infiniti Q30 crossover, which goes into production in late 2015, followed by replacements for the Q60 coupe and convertible.
De Nysschen is in no hurry to introduce a model beneath the Q30, although he acknowledges the potential for a model to compete with the Audi A1 or Q1.
"Young-minded, premium customers are our psychological target," he said. "But we want to entrench ourselves as a high-end brand before we move down, so it will be beyond 2020 before we do anything here."
Infiniti's collaboration with Mercedes-Benz also means that it has access to state-of-the-art diesel engines, of which de Nysschen said "we can anticipate that there might be room in the American lineup, as well as hybrid electric-supercharged models."
Edmunds says: Car shoppers should expect some intriguing choices in Infiniti showrooms in the future.