Infiniti is planning at least two flagship models that will sit above the existing M luxury sedan (now renamed Q70), according to Automotive News. The models would be positioned and designed to compete with entries from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Porsche.
Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News that his company will launch a pair of high-end cars by 2020. They will be built on a common platform, but will be distanced significantly from the current M/Q70. Given that Infiniti has switched to a Q/QX naming scheme, it's possible those cars could be named Q80 or Q90.
In addition, de Nysschen said the new Infiniti flagships will be, "high-performance luxury cars, not a sports car." He said the model would be closer to the Porsche Panamera than the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. After building a traditional sedan, Infiniti could build a two-door coupe on the same platform that would, "perhaps just dial up the performance and design appeal," he told AN. Together, the pair of cars would serve as the pinnacle of the Infiniti model range.
The cars would reportedly use the same mechanical components and engines, even though their bodies would be different. As for styling, the cars may draw inspiration from the Infiniti Essence concept (pictured) that launched at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. The show car used a twin-turbo V-6 gas engine and hybrid drive system.
Infiniti officials previously confirmed the company planned to launch an "aspirational" top-end model to help improve the brand's luxury cachet. At the same time, the company has denied that it will build a high-end sports car -- quashing rumors late last year, for instance, of a 550-plus-hp range topper with a twin-turbo V-6 engine.
The move will help Infiniti meet its publicly stated goal of nearly tripling annual sales to 500,000 units globally by 2017 -- a goal that de Nysschen reportedly called, "an inordinately ambitious challenge."
Electric Car Delayed
Infiniti will delay the introduction of its first electric car, which was expected to arrive by 2014. The company previously revealed the Infiniti LE, which is a more luxurious version of the Nissan Leaf, but de Nysschen reportedly pushed back the car's introduction.
"There will be an Infiniti EV. The question is one of timing," he told AN.
Source: Automotive News