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Video: Kit Harington appears in Infiniti Q60 promo clip

Video: Kit Harington appears in Infiniti Q60 promo clip

Video: Kit Harington appears in Infiniti Q60 promo clip

Games of Thrones actor Kit Harington has got behind the wheel of the new Infiniti Q60 in a short, one-minute teaser clip released this morning.

The video, released by Infiniti, shows Harington reciting 1794 poem The Tyger by William Blake.

Harington says: “What inspires me personally in my life, is a beautiful piece of writing. Something which is specific, delicate and beautiful.”

The Infiniti Q60 is a rival to the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5, first revealed at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

The flagship model will be powered by a 400hp twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine, while a 2.0-litre four-cylinder will also be offered.

Speaking of the Harington clip, Infiniti’s senior marketing director, Melissa Bell, said: “Kit Harington is a unique and refined talent. He is performance orientated with intelligence and a passion for his artistry and the Q60 has inspired a powerful performance from him in Tyger.

“In this one-minute drive we’re thrilled to take viewers on a test-ride through multiple emotions. The Q60 is a dynamic automobile, driven by one of the world’s best actors – a winning combination.”

UK Q60 specifications are yet to be confirmed, but expect it to start at around £30,000 when it goes on sale towards the end of 2016.

Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration

Infiniti to tease new mid-size SUV at 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Infiniti QX Sport InspirationInfiniti will show the new QX Sport Inspiration concept car at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, confirming it is set to finally replace its ageing QX50 mid-size SUV.

Said to be a ‘daring’ design that’s part of Infiniti’s latest Powerful Elegance design language, the QX Sport Inspiration suggests the brand’s future SUVs are going to be rather bolder and more distinctive than its current ones.

The teaser shows curvaceous lines in the style of the Q60 concept, ample Q30-style creasing, large air intakes and an even larger Infiniti-ID grille. The firm reckons it “stands out thanks to its striking design details and sophisticated craftsmanship”.

Design director Alfonos Albaisa added: “The QX Sport Inspiration expresses a power and purpose that is uniquely Infiniti. With a flowing, natural aesthetic, this concept demonstrates how Infiniti can offer something new and exciting with future QX SUV models.”

The new Infiniti SUV, that will compete with cars such as the Audi Q5 and Jaguar F-Pace, will be shown at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show from 25 April; the show is open to the public between 29 April – 4 May.

Infiniti Q30: 9 things you need to know

What is the Infiniti Q30? 9 things you need to know

Infiniti Q30: 9 things you need to know

Chris Moyles is giving away an Infiniti Q30 on his Radio X breakfast show this morning. But what is the Infiniti Q30? Here’s a rundown:

1: Infiniti is Nissan’s premium brand

Nissan is going upmarket with its Infiniti premium brand. Many car manufacturers are doing it – basically, if you give a car some nice features, an attractive design and a premium badge, people will pay more for it. The problem Infiniti has is, no one’s heard of it. So…

2: Infiniti hopes the Q30 will be the car to catapult it into the public consciousness

There’s a reason why the Infiniti Q30 is suddenly everywhere. There are TV adverts, radio adverts and, of course, competitions like the one on the Chris Moyles show. Infiniti sold just 1,195 cars in the UK last year – a hefty spend on marketing, some new dealerships (a rise from its current 10) and a more desirable (and affordable) car should fix that.

3: The Infiniti Q30 is based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Through a clever partnership between Daimler (the owner of Mercedes) and the Nissan-Renault Alliance, Infiniti’s been able to borrow the platform of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – manufacturers often shares parts and platforms. And if you have to explain to people that your posh Nissan is essentially a Mercedes-Benz underneath… well, it could be worse.

4: But it also borrows bits from Nissan

The Infiniti Q30 is built on the same production line as the Nissan Juke and Nissan Note, at Nissan’s factory in Sunderland. Naturally, it shares many Nissan bits – in fact, the interior is a kind of weird mish-mash of Nissan and Mercedes parts. But it’s not all bad – you get a choice of swish interior trims, from ‘city black’ (featuring black upholstery and purple stitching) to ‘gallery white’ (it’s, er, rather white).

Infiniti Q30: 9 things you need to know

5: It’s a very British car

It might be produced by a Japanese manufacturer using German underpinnings, but a lot of British workers have spent time on this car. We’ve covered that it’s built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the North East, but it was designed at the company’s Paddington design centre, and engineered at Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield. Infiniti says the Q30 is the result of £250 million investment, creating 1,000 jobs in the UK.

6: It sits higher than an A-Class…

You’ve probably heard or seen the adverts – the Infiniti Q30 isn’t exactly conventional. It sits higher than rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. That was intentional, product manager Elise Minier told us. “It means there’s more space inside than conventional premium hatchbacks.”

Infiniti Q30: 9 things you need to know

7: …But a proper crossover version is on its way

This isn’t a full Qashqai-type crossover, though. That’s coming – in the form of the QX30. It’ll sit 45mm higher than the Q30, and rival the likes of the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Audi Q3.

8: It’s really safe

The Q30 was tested by Euro NCAP last year, and it’s actually the safest car in its class, with a five-star rating. It scores particularly highly for the pedestrian test, thanks to its bonnet that pops-up if it detects an impact. It also scores well for child occupancy – so great for carrying your kids about.

Infiniti Q30: 9 things you need to know

9: The 1.6-litre petrol isn’t great

Sorry, Chris Moyles fans – the Q30 they’re giving away on Radio X is the entry-level 1.6-litre petrol. With 122hp and a 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds, it really doesn’t live up to the premium image Infiniti’s going for with the Q30. Most UK buyers will go for the company car driver friendly 1.5-litre diesel, although we quite like it with the 2.2-litre Mercedes-Benz diesel.


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Infiniti Q30

Infiniti Q30: Two-Minute Road Test

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti is Nissan’s premium brand – like Lexus is to Toyota. It’s Nissan’s way of competing with the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. However, its success so far in the UK has been slow, with just 10 dealers and 1,195 new cars registered last year.

Infiniti hopes the Q30 will catapult the brand into the premium mainstream. The car shares its platform with the Mercedes-Benz A-class, and is produced at Nissan’s Sunderland plant.

Infiniti Q30

What are its rivals?

It’s a slightly unusual alternative to the likes of the BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 and, of course, the Mercedes-Benz A-class. Unlike these conventional premium hatchbacks, it sits a bit higher, offering more practicality (and with it, a slightly heftier price tag). It’s not a proper crossover, though – that will come in the form of the QX30, due later this year. The whole thing is a tad confusing – but following convention isn’t what the Q30 is all about.

Infiniti Q30

Which engines does it use?

The range kicks off with a 1.6-litre petrol engine producing 122hp. It’s likely to be a small-seller in the UK, and for good reason; it doesn’t exactly live up to the Infiniti’s premium image. The most popular choice will be a 1.5-litre Renault turbodiesel, producing 109hp, while a 2.2-litre turbodiesel borrowed from Mercedes-Benz tops the range. That’s the model we’ve got on test here.

Infiniti Q30

What’s it like to drive?

It’s actually pretty good. Despite the raised ride height, body roll is well-contained – although that is partly down to the Sport model we’re testing here, which rides 15mm lower than the regular car. We’d opt for Premium-spec, though – the Sport’s ride is definitely a touch on the firm side.

The 2.2-litre 170hp Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel is clattery on start-up, but offers impressive performance. Handling has been fine-tuned on British roads and you can tell – it turns in well, with the four-wheel drive of our test car providing excellent levels of grip. The steering is on the light side, with little feedback.

Infiniti Q30

Fuel economy and running costs

On paper, the 2.2-litre turbodiesel returns 57.6mpg. That’s impressive, especially when you consider the performance and the fuel-sapping four-wheel-drive system. Unfortunately, during our week-long, 500-mile test, the Q30’s trip computer is only showing early-30s mpg. We weren’t driving it with economy in mind, admittedly, and our experience of this Mercedes-Benz engine suggests it does need running in before decent economy is returned. Even so, it’s unusual for real-life economy to be quite so far from the official figure.

Infiniti Q30

Is it practical?

It’s a relatively big car, the Q30, and that translates into good levels of interior space. The boot comes in at 368 litres, bigger than that of a Mercedes-Benz A-Class (341 litres) but slotting in neatly between a BMW 1 Series (360 litres) and an Audi A3 Sportback (380 litres).

Infiniti Q30

What about safety?

Safety is where the Q30 excels. It’s actually the safest car in its class, according to Euro NCAP, scoring five stars and an impressive 86% in the child occupant test, plus 84% for adults. It also scored highly in the pedestrian-impact tests – thanks partly to a bonnet that pops up if sensors detect a person has been struck.

Infiniti Q30

Which version should I go for?

We’d be tempted by the 2.2-litre turbodiesel tested here (in more comfortable Premium spec). In reality, though, the 1.5-litre diesel will make more sense for most people – company car drivers especially.

Infiniti Q30

Should I buy one?

If you’re a company car driver considering yet another Audi A3 or the Infiniti, we can understand why you’d be tempted. The Q30 looks great, offers good levels of practicality and is extremely safe. It also drives well, although keen drivers will be better off with a BMW 1 Series.

Our biggest gripe with the Q30 is that it’s just a little bit too much of a Nissan/Mercedes parts bin. It fails to feel as premium as the Mercedes, or most other rivals, and there are switches and instruments everywhere that have clearly been lifted from other models. You’re making a statement buying this car – in Infiniti’s own words, it ‘challenges convention’ – so you’re different from all the Mercedes/BMW/Audi crowd. But you’re making that statement by buying a car that’s basically a Mercedes-Benz A-class, but not as good.

Infiniti Q30

Pub fact

The Mercedes-Benz A-class isn’t known for its comfortable seats, so Infiniti has designed special seats for the Q30. It says the seat-back has been engineered to match the curvature of the spine, helping to reduce backache on long journeys.

Infiniti Q60

Detroit 2016: new Infiniti Q60 coupe arrives at last

Infiniti Q60Infiniti’s badly ageing Q60 coupe (née G37) has finally been replaced, with its shapely all-new successor debuting at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show.

Boasting Infiniti’s new-era design previewed by several earlier concepts, the new Q60 will provide a stern challenge to the BMW 4 Series Coupe, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Audi A5 range whose owners it will need to win over.

Infiniti Q60

Infiniti’s thus not messing about: it’s launched in 400hp 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo guise, with the new VR30 engine claiming one of the best power-to-efficiency ratios in the class.

A rear-biased all-wheel drive system is promising, although the regular 208hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo still drives the rear wheels instead of the less-driver-pleasing fronts; it can thank being based on the Infiniti Q50 for that.

03_Infiniti_Q60

That’s why it inherits the Q50’s rather disappointing interior, albeit lavished with latest gen connectivity, safety and infotainment tech.

Alongside the Q50-derived suspension of the standard Q60 is a new ‘Digital Dynamic Suspension’. Dampers are electronically adjustable and it’s backed up by the second generation of the drive-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering system.

Trust us, says Infiniti, it’s better this time: feel and feedback are enhanced and “significant” changes make it more communicative (and hopefully less weird-feeling).

Infiniti is, like Lexus with its new LC 500, ambitious. “The Infiniti Q60 conveys a powerful elegance through its daring design, and has the performance credentials to match,” said Infiniti president.

“The Q60 will affirm Infiniti’s leadership in the premium sports coupe class.” Bold claim. The Q60 looks good: will the reality square up?

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti car production begins in Britain

Infiniti Q30Infiniti has officially opened its first ever European production facility with the launch Q30 today leaving the assembly line in Sunderland – bringing £250 million new investment and 300 new jobs to Britain.

It’s yet another boost to Nissan’s booming Sunderland factory, which now employs a total of 6,700 people to produce the Q30 compact premium car from the same base as the Nissan Qashqai, Juke and Note.

British Q30 production means Infinitis are now made in five plants, in four countries, on three continents. The UK plant comes online as 2015 sales already exceed 2014 levels – and the Q30 is the next step in Infiniti’s long-awaited arrival as a viable premium alternative to Audi and BMW in Europe.

Nissan chief performance officer Trevor Mann has worked at Sunderland since it opened in 1985 and says the Q30’s arrival begins “an exciting new chapter in the Infiniti story, and I can’t think of a better place to start than here”.

The Q30 will now be exported from Britain to Europe, China and America; Infiniti estimates 1,000 extra jobs in the supply chain, on top of the 300 jobs directly at Sunderland.

Infiniti Q30 review: 2015 first drive

Infiniti Q30 review: 2015 first drive

Infiniti Q30 review: 2015 first drive

If you have a BMW 1 Series, Audi A3 or Mercedes-Benz A-Class on your drive, you’re making a statement. You’re likely to be a young, trendy sort, who cares about appearance but doesn’t need anything bigger than a Ford Focus. You’re probably a company-car driver who wants to pay as little tax as possible, but wants a car that can spend hours on the UK’s crowded motorways without breaking a sweat.

The problem with the three cars mentioned is that the statement they make is being diluted. They’re selling in increasingly larger numbers. Sure, you’re doing alright if you’ve got a BMW 1 Series on your drive, but so is the guy next door. And the lady two doors down…

So if you really want to make a statement, Infiniti is launching its Q30 model. If you’re not aware of Infiniti, it’s Nissan’s premium brand. Don’t recoil in horror – it’s like Lexus is to Toyota, DS is to Citroen and, you could argue, Audi is to Volkswagen.

Infiniti’s slowly gathering momentum in Europe, hence its belated entry into the premium C-segment. But launching an entirely new car under its own steam would take up time Infiniti hasn’t got. So, in a bid to speed up the process, it’s turned to the Renault-Nissan alliance and its deal with Daimler. The result is a car based on the same platform as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

However, you would struggle to tell from the outside. It’s been designed by Infiniti’s London-based team, and sits slightly higher than an A-Class. It’s almost going for the crossover market, similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo V40 Cross Country, but the Infiniti QX30, due next year, will be even more rugged.

Infiniti Q30 review: On the road

Infiniti Q30 review: On the road

Most buyers will opt for the 1.5-litre diesel. This is a Renault engine, but appears across a wide range of cars, from the Mercedes-Benz A-Class to the Nissan Qashqai. While it’s hardly a thrilling powertrain, it’ll be quick enough for most buyers and provides enough torque to avoid to excessively working the six-speed manual gearbox.

If you’re after a more powerful diesel, the Mercedes 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine produces 170hp. It’s a rather vocal unit – fine when you’re up to speed (Infiniti has some clever methods to disguise it, including active noise cancellation), but particularly noticeable when you’re driving around town. The Q30’s premium feel is kind of ruined when you set off from traffic lights and the stop/start system triggers the engine with a surprisingly loud clatter.

Infiniti doesn’t expect the 2.0-litre petrol engine to sell in large numbers in the UK, but trying it in the Q30 Sport model we found it to make very little sense. It has sporting pretensions, but in reality squares up against the A200 Sport in Mercedes’ A-Class line-up. That makes it more of a warm hatch than a true hot hatch.

The standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is clumsy and fails to compete with the likes of Volkswagen’s DSG ’box during spirited driving. On the motorway, it makes for a satisfactory cruiser, but both wind and tyre noise transfer into the cabin more than you’d expect from a truly premium car.

Infiniti Q30 review: On the inside

There’s no denying that the Sport’s four-wheel-drive system means there’s plenty of grip, but you’ll back off far sooner than the car due to the Q30’s awkward body roll. And that’s despite this model sitting 20mm lower than the standard car.

One thing that is fairly pleasing about the Q30 is its steering. It hasn’t inherited the fly-by-wire system of the bigger Q50, instead using more conventional electrically-controlled power steering. While it doesn’t handle as well as the BMW 1 Series, it takes corners in a safe and predictable manner, while providing a reasonable amount of feedback.

Infiniti is particularly proud of the Q30’s suspension, which it says has been tuned at Cranfield with UK roads in mind. It provides a good balance between sportiness and comfort, using a multi-link setup at the rear and a MacPherson struts at the front. You may expect, thanks to the Q30’s raised ride height, that it might ride slightly better than it does – but it’s only marginally better than the A-Class on which it’s based.

Infiniti Q30 review: On the inside

Infiniti Q30 review: On the inside

If you’ve driven a Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the Q30’s interior will seem very familiar. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – there’s no denying that it feels premium, with a lot of soft materials and pleasant touches. The manufacturer points to its satin-chrome trim which, unlike plastic, gives a ‘cool-to-touch’ feel as an example of this. While this sounds a little like marketing spiel, it’s true that a degree of attention has been paid to minor details.

Buyers get a choice of interior trim combinations – including ‘cafe teak’, which combines brown and black upholstery with fake wood, and ‘gallery white’, which includes white leather with red stitching. Some of these won’t be to everyone’s tastes but, you might be pleased to know, there is also a more conventional black interior trim. That, however, comes with purple stitching.

Some will be happy to see that Mercedes-Benz’s ‘stuck on’ infotainment screen has been replaced with an integrated unit as standard. It’s smaller, though, taking away from that premium feel.

The seats are more curved than you’d usually find in a car – designed to follow the curvature of the spine and provide more comfort over long distances, says Infiniti. It’s true that we didn’t notice any aches or pains after a couple of hours in the car. Rear legroom is adequate, while bootspace comes in at 368 litres – making it competitive against the likes of the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

Infiniti Q30 review: Running costs

Infiniti Q30 review: Running costs

We’ve mentioned that the majority of buyers will opt for the 1.5-litre turbodiesel. This emits 108g/km CO2 and returns 68.9mpg.

In other markets where smaller wheels are available, the same engine has lower emissions and provides better fuel economy. The same engine in other models (including the larger Nissan Qashqai) manages to drop below the 100g/km CO2 barrier. While this will soon no longer have the tax advantages it currently has for private buyers (free vehicle excise duty), 108g/km CO2 will penalise company car drivers. Why would you choose one as your company car when the equivalent A-Class will cost you less in tax?

The other concern many will have is the Infiniti’s residual values. The brand doesn’t carry the same cachet as rivals, so surely it’ll be worth less and harder to sell a few years down the line. Infiniti is very defensive of this, citing a 39% retained value after three years and 60,000 miles according to experts CAP.

Infiniti Q30 review: Verdict

Infiniti Q30 review: Verdict

Infiniti faces a challenge with its Q30. It needs to offer a really good reason to tempt buyers away from their BMWs and Audis, and into an unknown quantity.

You could argue that, by using a Mercedes-Benz platform, Infiniti has played it safe. It’s true that the Q30 is largely inoffensive and doesn’t do anything particularly badly. But it doesn’t do anything particularly well, either. Not well enough to tempt you from the German brands that will continue to dominate this sector, anyway.

You’re making a very bold statement buying a Q30. You’re telling the world that you don’t want a Audi A3, BMW 1 Series or Mercedes-Benz A-Class. But what you get is essentially the latter, which makes buying one just a little bit pointless. If you’re absolutely sold on buying a Q30 for whatever reason, opt for the 1.5-litre diesel. You’ll be treated to a perfectly serviceable car – but don’t expect anything particularly special.

Infiniti Q30 review: Specifications

Price: £20,550 – £34,890
Power: 109 – 211hp
Torque: 148 – 258 lb ft
0-62mph: 7.2 – 12 seconds
Top speed: 146mph
Fuel economy: 42.2 – 68.9mpg
CO2 emissions: 108 – 156g/km

Infiniti Q30 interior

Infiniti Q30 interior revealed

Infiniti Q30 interiorInfiniti has released first images of its new Q30 premium compact hatchback’s interior ahead of the car’s public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Clearly showing its Mercedes-Benz A-Class roots through details such as the instruments and switchgear, Infiniti has nevertheless created a bespoke look – and used the “highest quality materials and processes” to construct it.

A new feature is Dinamica suede-style material for the roof and pillars: sourced from Italy, Infiniti says it’s a trim taken from the so-called high-fashion industry.

Unlike the A-Class, Infiniti has integrated the infotainment screen into the dashboard, and air vents are a more conventional design rather than the Merc’s jet-style metal roundels.

“Q30’s sculpted exterior and asymmetric cabin design are unmistakably Infiniti,” says Infiniti president Roland Krueger. “With the Q30, we are entering a new segment for Infiniti and broadening the offer to our customers.

“This vehicle is a vital part of our strategy to be a top tier global manufacturer of premium cars.”

The Sunderland, UK-built Infiniti Q30 will be revealed at 10:15am CET on September 15th; it will go on sale in early 2016.

Infiniti Q30

Infiniti Q30 revealed: first official image of the Japanese Audi A3

Infiniti Q30Infiniti has released the first official image of its new Q30 premium compact hatchback, ahead of its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

The all-new Q30 is shown in five-door 2.2d guise, and remains faithful to the concept that’s been shown at numerous global motor shows over the past few years.

It’s doubly significant for Britain: the new Infiniti premium compact hatch will be assembled at Nissan’s giant Sunderland plant, next door to the Nissan Qashqai.

The Q30 (which Infiniti’s dubbing ‘Active Compact’) won’t share a platform with the Nissan, though: rather, it will be derived from the underpinnings used by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.

This means the 2.1-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine used in the launch car will produce up to 170hp while averaging over 70mpg.

It remains to be seen whether Infiniti will also get access to the AMG-developed 2.0-litre petrol engine used in the Mercedes-AMG 45…

‘Confident and striking’

For drivers, Infiniti’s promising “confident, and responsive performance” and “excellent” ride and handling.

Inside, there’ll be “crafted trims and expressive interiors [that] extend the striking design approach from the exterior”.

“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 Infiniti Q30 hatch will later be joined by an Infiniti QX30 crossover: this was previewed as a concept earlier this year at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

If the regular Q30 is anything to go by, the QX30 won’t radically change by the time it reaches production some time in 2016.

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Infiniti QX30 Concept

Infiniti QX30 Concept revealed ahead of Geneva 2015

Infiniti QX30 ConceptInfiniti has revealed the first image of its new compact SUV, ahead of the QX30 Concept’s public debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Read more