While Infiniti Australia has been tight-lipped about the specifications of its hugely important upcoming premium mid-sized sedan, the Japanese brand’s president, Johan de Nysschen, confirmed at today’s New York auto show that both powerplants would be available in our market.
The Daimler-sourced 125kW/400Nm 2.1-litre direct-injection four-cylinder turbo-diesel (from the Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI and E220 CDI) will power the entry-level Infiniti Q50 in Australia, with the 245kW/365Nm 3.7-litre V6 to sit above it in the line-up.
De Nysschen admitted it was undecided at this stage if Australia would get the flagship Q50 Hybrid, however. The hybrid is the performance hero of the range, partnering a 221kW/346Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with a 50kW/270Nm electric motor for a combined output of 264kW, yet using an estimated sub-6.0L/100km on the combined cycle.
He told CarAdvice Infiniti’s wait-and-see approach to Q50 Hybrid for Australia was a reflection of its desire to not overcomplicate the all-new model line.
“If you offer too many derivatives for a low-volume and growing brand like ourselves in Australia, you run the risk that you never have the right car in inventory at the right time, and given the long lead times – Australia is a relatively remote market – you don’t want to get in a position where you offer the customer something but then can’t deliver it,” de Nysschen said.
The global president said Infiniti had far from ruled out the petrol-electric model for Australia, however, admitting that the diesel and hybrid variants occupied opposite ends of the market and would appeal to very different customers.
“What we have to keep in mind with the Q50 is that the diesel is going to be significantly less powerful than our hybrid,” he said.
“Hybrid right now represents the performance flagship for the range, so in a way they clearly are complementary, and in that sense we could well consider offering both. I could certainly envisage that we could offer all three derivatives in Australia.”
“Australia in many respects tends to mimic the European tastes and demands.”
The Q50 will become the fourth model in Infiniti Australia’s portfolio, alongside the G coupe, M sedan and FX SUV, when it arrives later this year. It is expected to become the volume seller for the brand, lining up against the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Lexus IS and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.