The Nissan Skyline will live on as a mildly tweaked version of the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid in Japan.
Nissan confirmed the new version of the iconic nameplate, which dates back to 1955, would be almost identical to the Q50 sedan destined for other global markets, and in an unprecedented move will defy traditional rebadging logic by using both Skyline and Infiniti badges.
While the car’s front grille will sport an Infiniti emblem, the rear of the car will do away with Infiniti references, replacing them with a Skyline badge. No other modifications will be made to the car, which will officially be called the Nissan Skyline and will be sold exclusively through Nissan dealerships in Japan.
Previous Infinitis sold in Japan have done away with Infiniti badges, replacing them with the Nissan logo on the front grille. Models including the G35, G37 and EX37 crossover have received this treatment.
Nissan says the reason for the decision is threefold. Firstly, despite now being 24 years old, Infiniti has never been sold in Japan, precluding the car from being badged as the Q50. Therefore, the car will be the first to at least wear an Infiniti badge in Japan.
Secondly, Nissan says Japanese consumers are aware of Infiniti, and are keen to be reminded their Skyline is a world-class car, hence the reasoning for keeping the Infiniti logo.
Finally, Nissan says the Skyline badge is simply too iconic to do away with.
The new Nissan Skyline will only be offered with the Q50’s hybrid powertrain, and not that car’s optional 3.7-litre V6. Both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive layouts will be available, though at this stage there’s no word on a successor for the outgoing Skyline coupe. The new Nissan Skyline will compete with the BMW 3 Series, which sells from 4.5 million yen ($48,580) in Japan.