The QX30 has been spotted heavily disguised during on-road tests in Europe.
QX30 will join the Q30 hatchback in a growing compact SUV line-up from Infiniti
Infiniti’s QX30 compact crossover has been spotted testing in disguise.
The sister car to the upcoming Q30 hatchback, the QX30 was shown as a thinly-disguised concept car at the Geneva Motor Show last year, and is targetting rivals like Audi’s Q3 and the BMW X1 when it goes on sale in 2016.
Infiniti’s entry into the booming compact crossover segment is “less to do with size or power but more to do with distinctive design and outstanding execution”, says the company.
The Genenva concept was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine, with drive sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission. A Haldex-based all-wheel drive system is also expected. The QX30’s engine is understood to be one of a new generation of powertrains that will feature in Infiniti models in the next two years.
The five-door, four-seat concept sat on 21in alloy wheels with large tyres, and features rugged styling features including a metal skid plate at the rear, an aluminium-trimmed front bumper, carbonfibre cladding around the lower edges and roof bar supports. The disguised car pictured bears a strong resemblance to the concept.
The premium-looking cabin includes brown leather trim with blue accents, with mood lighting and a large central infotainment screen.
Measuring 4430mm long by 1815mm wide, with a height of 1520mm, the QX30 concept is shorter, wider and lower than the X1, but narrower than the Q3. It’s also 30mm taller than the Q30 and offers 192mm of ground clearance. Both the QX30 and Q30 share a tweaked version of the Mercedes-Benz A/B-Class platform.
Infiniti design director Alfonso Albaisa said the QX30 had been styled to “cut through the urban clutter and rigidity, reflecting its go-anywhere and spur-of-the-moment nature”. The company has also identified its customers as “searching for a product to suit their urban week and getaway weekend”.
Infiniti’s European boss, Francois Goupil de Bouille, has made no secret of the firm’s desire to break into this lucrative marketplace. “Fifty per cent of premium car sales in the EU are in the C-segment… which means targeting the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series and so on,” he said “The [European premium] market is not an open door, so we have to offer something different.”
Both the QX30 and Q30 will be exported to North America, with Infiniti planning to sell a combined 60,000 units of the two models in their first full year on sale. Around 30,000 of those sales will come from Europe.
The production QX30 will be one of a number of new models to come from Nissan’s luxury brand in the coming years.
As well as the Q30, which will enter production this year at Nissan’s Sunderland plant, Infiniti has also confirmed a sports coupé based on the Q60 concept will arrive in 2016. A range-topping model based on 2014’s Q80 Inspiration will sit at the very top of the line-up, with a new model dubbed Q20 acting as the entry-level option.
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