CEO of Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co, Carlos Ghosn said the move is aimed at improving fuel economy and CO2 emissions for the luxury coupe and sedan models which currently utilise a mix of four- and six-cylinder Japanese-built engines.
The move is the first in a diverse five-year product and technology sharing plan aimed to lower costs for the trio as increasingly strict emissions and fuel-economy standards are introduced.
In the US, where Infiniti is sold as a luxury brand of parent company Nissan, the government will require all manufacturers to meet a combined passenger and light commercial fuel economy figure of 34.1 miles per gallon (6.89L/100km) from 2016. Currently, the standard is 30.2 mpg (7.78L/100km) for 2011-model cars and 24.1 mpg (9.76L/100km) for 2011-model light commercial vehicles.
That mandate, and growing consumer interest in more fuel efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles, has already seen several manufacturers adopt similar plans including Kia and Hyundai who both announced the introduction of a direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant in some of their future models at last week's New York Motor Show.
Nissan North America's vice president of product planning for Nissan and Infiniti brand vehicles, Larry Dominique said his company is considering even broader use of four-cylinder engines in the future, but did not specify models or timing.
The Infiniti G series was one of the brand's top-sellers in the US last year with 47,174 recorded sales. In the first three months of this year, Infiniti G series sales were 28 per cent stronger than the same time last year.
Australia will get its first taste of the Infiniti brand within the next three years. Nissan Australia CEO and MD, Dan Thompson telling CarAdvice recently that he has a team of staff working full time to bring Nissan’s luxury brand to Australia in the near future.
CarAdvice will keep you posted on any developments as they come to hand.