Rumor Mill: Infiniti Tapping Mercedes-Benz to Power New Hatchback

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Infiniti showed off its Etherea concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, hoping to cash in on the premium hatchback segment. We haven’t heard much about it since a report this summer confirming Infiniti’s plan for production, but now an Aussie car site, The Motor Report, has an interesting bit of news to add for Infiniti’s new car.

According to their report, the hatch will be powered by a number of Mercedes-Benz-sourced gas and diesel-powered four cylinders. Those engines will be the same ones powering the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A-Class, which is one of the front-wheel drive, with which the Infiniti hatchback will share its platform.

We’ve discussed those Benz engines in the past, which are 2.0-liter, turbocharged mills with an output in the 200 hp range. The engines will feature ECO start/stop technology and are expected to be mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. No word if those technologies will carry over to Infiniti. The Etherea concept that previewed the forthcoming hatch was motivated by a hybrid powerplant, which included a 2.5-liter, supercharged four-cylinder and an electric motor for a combined 245 horsepower.

The hatchback segment is heating up just as fast as the declining popularity of big SUVs. Americans already have a few upscale hatch offerings from automakers are already in the game such as the Lexus CT200h and the Audi A3. The Etherea hatch is part of Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s plan to increase sales worldwide. His goal for Infiniti is to have 10 percent marketshare of the luxury segment in six years.

Source: The Motor Report

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