Infiniti joins premium hatchback fray with new Q30

Infiniti joins premium hatchback fray with new Q30:

New premium compact hatch blurs the line between hatchbacks and crossovers; built in UK

Infiniti is the latest brand to enter the premium hatchback market with the Q30 ‘Premium Active Compact’, due to be launched at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The compact’s styling is little different from the concept that inspired it, at the last Frankfurt show two years ago.

While a German launch places the Q30 alongside the cars it’s aiming to beat – vehicles such as the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series, it’s also an important car for the UK market – as it’s to be built at Nissan’s manufacturing facility near Sunderland.

The company has invested £250million into a new 25,000 square metre facility, and alongside production of a QX30 crossover, will create 300 new jobs in the area.

Where the Q30 differs from its immediate rivals is in its stance. Infiniti doesn’t mention the word ‘crossover’, but it’s clear from the slightly raised ride height and black wheel arch extensions in this initial image that the brand is aiming to bridge the gap between regular premium hatches and compact crossovers.

What that means for Infiniti’s claims of ‘dynamic drive characteristics’ is unclear, though both Q30 and QX30 will share their platforms with the Mercedes A-Class and GLA.

No engines have been officially announced as yet, but badges on the flanks of this particular car read ‘2.2d’ – referencing Infiniti and Nissan’s existing 2143cc turbocharged diesel.

In the Q50 saloon, the unit produces 170PS at 3200rpm and 400Nm of torque from 1600rpm. With a six-speed manual transmission, it’s enough for the Q50 to reach 62mph in 8.7sec, and 8.5sec with the optional seven-speed automatic.

Further details will be revealed at the Frankfurt motor show, which opens to press on September 15.

Antony Ingram

21 Jul 2015

(Via evo: News)