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Cadillac CT6 ushers in new naming convention

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:49:00 EST

Johan de Nysschen has been at his new post as president of Cadillac for not even three months , but he's already seen two of his most notable accomplishments from his two-year tenure as president of Infiniti matched by Cadillac. The brand has announced that it is relocating its headquarters, and is now officially changing its nomenclature.
The brand's new flagship model will abandon the familiar three-letter designation enjoyed by every other model in the range (aside from the Escalade), and adopt an alpha-numeric title. So, rather than the expected title of LTS, Cadillac's top-end car will be called the CT6.
Of course, this won't be limited to just one model. According to Cadillac's press release, "familiar lettering like 'CT' would be used for car models, with the number indicating the relative size and position of the cars in the hierarchy of Cadillac models." And yes, that means what you think it means - Cadillac will use the exact same naming formula, albeit with different letters, as Infiniti.

Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept is bringing its sexy back to Paris

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:00:00 EST

A little over a month ago, Infiniti hinted at a new concept car it was apparently lining up for the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Then a few weeks ago it showed us a little more. But now, we're getting our best look yet at the new showcar.
Called the Q80 Inspiration, the concept takes the form of a four-door fastback - something along the lines of the Porsche Panamera or Audi A7, but with Infiniti's signature swoopy lines. Created to serve as "a design and technological highlight to which Infiniti's four worldwide design studios will refer regularly in coming years," the Q80 Inspiration may be more design study than pre-production prototype. But the concept is to be taken, according to the statement below, "as clear intent to have an entry into the newly defined premium fastback segment."
Incrementally larger than the Panamera in every dimension but height, the Q80 features a teardrop greenhouse, with four doors opening "portal style" into a four-seat cabin done up in carbon fiber, aluminum and leather. Watch this space for more as Infiniti continues the gradual reveal of its new show car as its debut in Paris approaches apace.

Infiniti darkens down QX70S Design for Paris debut

Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:15:00 EST

Dig the Infiniti QX70 but wish it were just a touch more low-key? Infiniti will have the answer at the fast-approaching Paris Motor Show, where it will launch the QX70S Design.
Based on the vehicle erstwhile known as the FX, the QX70S Design gets dark chrome all over: on the grille, foglight surrounds, side air vents, side sills and license plate surround. The headlights are smoked and the 21-inch six-spoke wheels, roof rails and mirror caps are painted black.
The darkened treatment continues inside with black lacquer trim and black leather with purple stitching. The S Design otherwise gets all the equipment of the S Premium model. It goes on sale in Europe right after its debut in Paris, and while we're told this trim isn't planned for the North American market, there's no telling what the future will hold.

Infiniti names former BMW man Kruger to fill de Nysschen role

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 10:00:00 EST

Today is turning into a big one for senior leadership changes in the automotive industry. Hot on the heels of Ferrari announcing the replacement of its chairman, Infiniti has announced the appointment of its new chief executive in Roland Krüger.
Serving until now as a senior vice president at BMW, Krüger joins Infiniti as its president as well as senior VP at parent company Nissan, reporting directly to Carlos Ghosn. Krüger had been with BMW since 1998, primarily as a regional director, having previously started his career as a designer for Mitsubishi and the Smart division at Daimler.
Krüger's appointment comes just over a week after the announcement that Infiniti's chairman Andy Palmer would be leaving for Aston Martin, and two months after the departure of outgoing Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen for Cadillac. The Japanese luxury automaker, headquartered in Hong Kong, has been in the meantime essentially operating by committee in the absence of a chief executive. The nomination of Krüger will surely bring a large measure of stability and direction as the company seeks to take a larger slice of the pie, in particular from German automakers like the one for which Krüger worked until now.

Infiniti previews new Q80 Inspiration concept ahead of Paris debut

Wed, 03 Sep 2014 10:58:00 EST

A couple of weeks ago, Infiniti released a teaser and brief statement on a new debut it had in store for the upcoming Paris Motor Show, and the Japanese luxury marque is now giving us a bit more to chew on.
Previewed in the slightly more revealing teaser image above is the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept, a "low-slung, ingeniously aggressive four-passenger fastback" that hints at a new flagship model from Nissan's luxury division that the automaker says is meant "to demonstrate to the premium world just how Infiniti aims to play its part."
Sounds promising, though we'll still have to wait a bit to find out more, so watch this space. In the meantime you can scope out the brief statement in the press release below.

2015 Infiniti Q70L

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:57:00 EST

A quick look at a scatter plot that charts rear legroom against luxury sedan MSRPs reveals a dearth of spacious bargains - few, if any, luxury sedans offer exceptionally spacious rear accommodations at a relatively low starting price. To fill the vacuum, Infiniti has made its Q70 available in a Q70L variant - in English, long wheelbase - for 2015.
The artist formerly known as the Infiniti M has been available in stretched-out form in the Chinese market for two years, and the US introduction is accompanied by several updates that include slightly reworked styling cues, and refinements to the drivetrain and chassis. The Q70L's wheelbase extends 5.9 inches (with a commensurate expansion of knee room), while overall length increases to 202 inches, a 7.3-inch bump. Powertrain options include a 3.7-liter V6 which produces 330 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque (starting at $51,350), or a 5.6-liter V8 that yields 420 hp and 417 lb-ft (and climbs to $64,550). The long-wheelbase treatment adds $1,500 to Q70 MSRPs. Not surprisingly, the Hybrid version is not available with the L treatment.
Up to three Q70L rear passengers are treated to reading lamps, a 12-volt power outlet, rear door close assist, and available heated seats. Unlike its Far Eastern counterpart (and competitors like the $61,500 Hyundai Equus), the US-spec Q70L's rear seats don't recline. Bummer.

Andy Palmer leaves Renault-Nissan to serve as CEO of Aston Martin

Tue, 02 Sep 2014 05:44:00 EST

Aston Martin has been without a helmsman since Ulrich Bez stepped down from the chief executive office at the end of last year, stepping back to serve as non-executive chairman in a semi-retired ambassadorial capacity. The British automaker, now on the cusp of a new era, has been running without a CEO since, but has now named Bez's replacement in Andy Palmer.
If you don't recognize the name, you should: Palmer has worked under the Renault-Nissan Alliance for decades now, rising through the ranks to become one of the top executives under Carlos Ghosn. Most recently he was serving as executive vice president of the entire group and chairman of the Infiniti brand, but like Carlos Tavares, who recently left Renault to run Peugeot, Palmer is now embarking on a new mission as CEO of Aston Martin.
Once the transition period is complete at the start of October, Palmer's role as Chief Planning Officer at Renault-Nissan will be assumed by Philippe Klein, who steps up from his current role as executive vice president of product planning for Renault. Read the statements from both companies below.

Watch Sebastian Vettel become first driver to lap Sochi GP circuit

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:28:00 EST


In April of last year, Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard drove the unpaved Sochi Formula One circuit in a pair of Infiniti M sedans, getting both muddy and airborne in the process. Now with tarmac laid down and fences put up, Vettel and Coulthard have gone back to the Black Sea vacation spot for another hot lap, this time in a Q50 Hybrid and without the need for mud flaps.
Sochi has earned the blessing of F1's race director, so now the next test will be the fans. With a healthy amount of wall-and-fencing along the straights, it has shades of Valencia for the viewer. We hope it will be much more exciting than its Spanish counterpart when racing happens on October 12. You'll find more videos below covering Infiniti's visits to the Sochi Autodrom, and a press release on the latest lap.

Infiniti Q50S getting G37's hydraulic steering for 2016

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:30:00 EST

Sometimes, new technology doesn't make things better. Take the march of power steering technology as an example. Electrically assisted systems are in vogue at the moment for their ability to increase fuel efficiency, but tuning them to offer good feedback remains something of a dark art. Some automakers get it, but most don't. The previous hydraulically assisted setups just seem to be inherently more communicative when driven with enthusiasm. And it looks like Infiniti might be learning this lesson the hard way.
In talking with Keith St. Clair, the luxury brand's head of product planning, Car and Driver has learned that the Q50S is probably going to ditch its standard electrically assisted steering in favor of a hydraulic system derived from the old G37, a model soon to be renamed the Q40. The system should make the sedan more engaging behind the wheel, but it still won't help those who tick the option box for Infiniti's controversial Direct Adaptive Steering drive-by-wire system.
According to St. Clair, Infiniti's engineers have heard the complaints of critics and previous G37 owners about the Q50S model's electric steering system, and wanted to see what they could do. They didn't have to go far to figure it out - all it required was taking the steering rack off of a G37 and putting it onto the Q50S. After a little tweaking, "the car is a blast to drive," St. Clair reports. Now, the company is said to be fast-tracking the switch, and it could be ready for the 2016 model year.

Infiniti ESQ is a Chinese Nissan Juke Nismo

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:01:00 EST

Take a Nissan Juke Nismo, replace all of its suede and Alcantara interior with leather and cross-stitching, replace all of its badging with the words "Infiniti ESQ," and boom! You've got a made-for-China crossover aimed at "the new millennials." Infiniti teased the coming of the ESQ last month, and today, we're treated to pictures taking it in from various toothsome angles.
Whippersnappers with anywhere from 200,000 yuan ($33,507 USD) to 300,000 yuan to spend will get the same 197 horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, sport-tuned CVT and all-wheel drive that we know in the Juke Nismo. We haven't tracked down any other official information about it yet, but potential buyers will get their first look at it during the Chengdu Motor Show that opens later this month, where it will share market-specific notes with Infiniti Q50 L.