Infiniti’s European boss, Francois Goupil de Bouille, has reportedly hinted that a hybrid-powered halo car is in the brand’s future.
Speaking to UK website Autocar, Goupil de Bouille said that Infiniti would eventually need halo performance models and that hybrid technology could be the key ingredient.
“Having halo cars is important, but historically brands develop their base and then add in these higher-end models,” he said.
“One day the question will come for Infiniti, but at the moment our focus is building the core.”
Above: The Q70 sedan is one of Infiniti’s core models
“But, if you look at what we are doing in F1 you can see some possibilities,” he added. “We worked closely with Red Bull, but now with Renault we are more integrated than ever and have taken charge of the hybrid modules on the F1 car.”
Later this year, Infiniti will launch its new Red Sport performance sub-brand, led by a new twin-turbo 3.0-litre ‘VR’ V6 engine. The first model to receive the Red Sport treatment will be the Q50 sedan, which was revealed in Q50S Red Sport 400 spec in the US in March.
Generating 298kW of power and 475Nm of torque, the Q50S Red Sport puts out similar outputs to the upcoming Mercedes-AMG C43, although the sporty Q50 is not pitched as a direct competitor.
Above: The Q50S Red Sport
The next candidate for the Red Sport treatment is the Q60 coupe, with other models in the Infiniti range expected to follow.
Autocar also reports that Goupil de Bouille emphasised that Infinity could never succeed by trying to beat its opposition at their own game (turbo V6s and V8s), again pointing to the company taking the electrified hybrid route in their future performance flagships.
Speculation has suggested that the next Nissan GT-R will feature a hybrid powertrain, previewed by the Vision 2020 Concept. Although Nismo boss Hiroshi Tamura played down those rumours at last year’s Nismo festival, any hybrid technology that might appear in the next GT-R would undoubtedly be available to Infiniti also.