Nissan’s Luxury Division Becomes Q Branch; Infiniti Models Change Names

As part of its effort to expand into a global premium brand, Nissan’s Infiniti is changing the model names of its cars and utility vehicles. All Infiniti cars will be Q models and crossovers and sport/utility vehicles will get the QX prefix. Infiniti will begin the product name switchover during the 2014 model year.

So the M models become Q70, the G coupe and convertible become Q60. The G series sedan gets replaced with the Q50 sedan, which makes its debut at the Detroit auto show in January.

The QX56 becomes the QX80, the FX becomes the QX70, the JX is the QX60 and the EX is the QX50.

Does that mean new, bigger engines? No. The Infiniti numbers now refer to the model’s place in the hierarchy. The ’14 Q50 sport sedan is a c-segment premium car, just as the QX50 is a c-segment premium CUV. The new names makes it easier for loyal customers to update to a model with a downsized engine without feeling like the move is also a downgrade.

Like Audi with its A4 and A5, the Q50 sedan and Q60 two-door models have distinct numbers. Johan de Nysschen, left Audi of America last summer to become Infiniti Motor Company’s first global president. Nissan has been trying to build the brand in Western Europe the last half-decade, and has made some inroads in various parts of Asia, including the notoriously insular South Korean market.

De Nysschen said Infiniti plans to push significantly upmarket, while also offering new, smaller entries than the Q50, nee G sedan.
“After exhaustive research and evaluation, we concluded that ‘Q’ captured the inspiration within the next generation of Infiniti models,” de Nysschen said in a prepared statement, “as well as emphasizing our performance credentials while harking back to our heritage with the Q45 – Infiniti’s first iconic flagship product in 1989.”

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