The Infiniti QX70 3.0D diesel model has had its day in Australia, with the brand announcing it will cease sales later this year.
The reasoning behind the move to kill off the diesel-powered Infiniti QX70 – which accounts for a third of sales of that vehicle – is clearly not related to a lack of popularity for the drivetrain.
The engine produces 175kW of power and 550Nm of torque, and is teamed exclusively to a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
The diesel V6 engine has also been seen in the previous generation Nissan Navara and Pathfinder models, and the Renault Latitude (but not sold in Australia). It was also fitted to the Infiniti M30d model, which was dropped when the brand changed that range over to the Q70 line.
“That engine hasn’t been earmarked for future development, so it has been dropped from the Q70 range, and correspondingly it will exit the QX70 range later this year, leaving only the petrol V6 and the 5.0-litre V8 in the QX70 range,” said Peter Fadeyev, general manager of corporate communications Infiniti Cars Australia.
The QX70 had its strongest year yet in 2015, with 166 sales over the period. That was up 31.7 per cent on 2014’s figures.
Infiniti Cars Australia managing director Jean-Philippe Roux, told CarAdvice that the demand for diesel is still there in the large luxury SUV segment, but there are driving forces that can’t be ignored as part of the broader company.
“It’s fair to say there’s still demand on the sales side of things, but we are preparing a plan, we will be sustaining the vehicle for its lifecycle – even without a diesel.
“You need to look at things on a global basis. You know what’s happening globally on diesel,” he said.
Roux suggested that the brand could consider a smaller displacement turbo diesel engine for the next-generation QX70, which can’t be too far away. The current version has been around since 2008.
“Absolutely, this is something we’re looking at for the future possibilities as well,” he said.
On paper the Renault-Nissan Alliance has a number of options it could fit to the vehicle, including the impressive twin-turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel engine (as seen in the Renault Trafic) and the willing 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel (fitted to the Renault Master).