Infiniti is gearing up to take on the Germans with a performance division of its business.
With the brand hell-bent on differentiating itself from its rivals and emphasizing its emotional appeal, the performance car business was also going to be on the agenda, but timing still remains unconfirmed.
Speaking to the Australian media at the Nissan 360 event in Los Angeles yesterday, Infiniti’s managing director for Asia and Oceania, Allen Lu, confirmed that Infiniti’s performance sub-brand, which will act like Mercedes-Benz AMG and BMW’s M division, is on its way.
“Honestly, I cannot give a how long for the timing, but as you can see with the relation with Formula 1 and Red Bull racing, Infiniti actually started working with our engineering department to put Formula 1 technology into the production of our vehicle design and engineering.”
The company this year appointed Formula One world champion, Sebastian Vettel, as its director of performance. The German was involved in the fine-tuning of the Infiniti Q50’s steering system and appears to be working more closely with the Japanese brand for future model development.
“We are heading for a performance car business and also this very technical oriented [skill] required that shows the company must have this kind of ability to enter this segment and create that sort of product.” Lu said.
Infiniti will expand its model lineup by sixty percent by 2015, also adding an additional fifty percent to its engine range.
The brand will launch the Infiniti Q50 in January next year and continue to bring in additional models as it seeks to take on its luxury rivals in all the major segments.