Infiniti's Australian launch is perhaps the most interesting event in the Australian automotive calendar in 2012. The Nissan owned luxury car maker is set to take on Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi as it opens up three bespoke custom-built dealerships in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Those old enough to remember will know that Infiniti was briefly introduced to the Australian market back in 1991 (with the Q45) but disappeared shortly after. This time around, however, things are a little different. The 2012 Infiniti relaunch comes amid Infiniti’s outstanding sales success worldwide. It’s currently the fastest growing luxury brand around the globe and has its sights set on expansion.
Infiniti will launch with three models this year with plenty of other exciting products expected in 2013. First in dealerships will be the Infiniti FX cross-over SUV followed by Infiniti M sedan and right towards the end of the year we will see the Infiniti G coupe and convertible.
Infiniti FX cross-over – FX50 (petrol V8), FX30d (turbo-diesel V6), FX37 (petrol V6). Timing: Q3 (around September).
The second-generation Infiniti FX cross-over, which hit other markets in late 2008, will play a big part in establishing the Japanese luxury brand in Australia. Infiniti will launch with the FX50, FX30d and FX37 variants, which will see it appease buyers looking for performance (FX50), efficiency (FX30d) or something in between (FX37).
The FX50 is powered by a 5.0L V8 (291 kW and 500 Nm) and can rush from 0-100km/h in a tad over 5 seconds. The FX37 uses a similar engine to the Nissan 370Z, the 3.7-litre V6 delivers 246kW and 370Nm of torque and does the same dash in around 5.8 seconds. Meanwhile the diesel FX30d boasts a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel with 175kW and 550Nm of torque.
Infiniti M sedan – M37, M30d, M35h (petrol V6 hybrid). Timing: Q3 (around September).
The M badge has been in the Infiniti lineup since 1990 (M30), making it the oldest model name in the Infiniti lineup. The M model heading to Australia this year was released in 2011 to positive acclaim. It currently holds the honour of being the fastest production hybrid car (M35h), beating the likes of Porsche’s Panamera hybrid.
Infiniti Australia will launch with the M37 (3.7-litre V6, 246kW – 370Nm), M35h hybrid (276kW – 358Nm – total electric/petrol engine) and M30d diesel (179kW – 550Nm). The M model lineup will take on the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS range.
Infiniti G coupe/convertible – G37 petrol V6. Timing: November-December
Last but not least will the be the Infiniti G37 Coupe and Convertible models which will be powered by the all too familiar 3.7-litre engine powering the M and FX models. The G coupe and convertible will launch with only one engine variant to begin with and the sedan model will not be made available due to the release of an all-new G sedan in 2013.
The G coupe and convertible will go head to head with the Lexus IS Convertible 250C, BMW 3 Series coupe/convertible and Mercedes-Benz’s recently launched C-Class Coupe.
Read more about Infiniti’s planned attack on the Australian market.