Infiniti is looking to downsize its engines, and it looks like the first step the automaker will take is to slot a set of four-cylinders under the hood of its M sedan in Europe. But the new four-bangers won’t come from parent-company Nissan’s corporate catalogue, but from German rival Mercedes-Benz.
We already knew that Mercedes-Benz and Nissan had come to an agreement to share technology, but according to Dutch AutoWeek, Infiniti will slot two Mercedes-Benz-sourced four-cylinder engines under the hood of the midsize M sedan for Europe. Engine choices are expected to be the direct-injected 1.8-liter unit from the C250 and E250, and a 2.1-liter common rail direct-injected diesel from the C250 CDI and E250 CDI. In C- and E-Class forms, both engines make around 202 hp. That gas engine is the same one that has been rumored to go into the forthcoming Infiniti compact that will share its underpinnings with the next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class; however, that car isn’t expected earlier than late-2013 or 2014.
Currently, the European-market Infiniti M is offered in two gas-powered guises and one diesel variant: M37, M35h, and the M30d. The M37 uses Nissan’s VQ 3.7-liter V-6 tuned to 315-hp; the M35h pairs the 3.5-liter version of the VQ with an electric motor and has a full powertrain output of 360 hp. The oil-burning M uses a 3.0-liter V-6 that makes 235 hp. While by American standards, both M models are modest, in Europe those V-6s are considered to be pretty large displacement mills. We reached out to Infiniti for comment on whether or not Mercedes engines will make their way into the M for next year, but were not able to contact anyone by the time of publication.
AutoWeek says to expect the Mercedes-powered Infiniti M to make its debut at next spring’s Geneva Motor Show and to go on sale shortly thereafter.