Future Product

The new plan is to reboot Infiniti as 'Nissan-plus', rapid model rollout coming

Infiniti already has plans for a number of new vehicles in the works.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

It's no secret that Infiniti has been struggling with its brand identity. It shows right there on the balance sheet where sales are down significantly, suffering a fate similar to its parent company Nissan. But, there's a plan underway to change that.

Reporting from AutomotiveNews indicates that the brand will no longer be looking to go in the direction of other luxury manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Instead, they'll be considered "Nissan-plus" according to a representative from the company.

2020 Infiniti QX50 The Infiniti QX50 is a premium compact SUV that is designed for comfortable cruising. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The move is part of a larger four-year turnaround plan made public by Nissan last week that advertised the introduction of 12 new models in the last 18 months. Infiniti vehicles were not explicitly part of that news release but we already know that the company plans to unveil the new QX55 and redesigned QX60 in the coming months.

AutomotiveMap has seen the 2020 Infiniti QX55 in person at a private media event and the 2021 Infiniti QX60 in picture form at the same event. The company also teased forthcoming electrification plans.

Infiniti COO Ashwani Gupta outlines what the plans for Infiniti are beyond then explaining that Infiniti and its parent company Nissan would begin sharing platforms in a move to slash costs. This is not unusual in the auto industry. In fact, Volkswagen Group has based its electrification strategy on flexible platforms that can be utilized by its Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands, among others.

In addition to the platform sharing, Infiniti will share powertrains and assembly with its mass market counterpart. Today, Infiniti vehicles are made at six plants: two in Japan, two in China, one in Mexico, and one in Smyrna, Tennessee. The forthcoming QX60 is made beside the Nissan Pathfinder in the U.S. so we should see both redesigns at the same time (likely at the L.A. Auto Show later this year).

2020 Infiniti QX80 Infiniti recently updated the interior design of its QX80. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

Those new models will begin to rapidly roll out in 2023.

The U.S. and China will be the company's primary market focus as the company reshapes its brand. In the early part of the century, Infiniti was known for creating fresh versions of Nissan vehicles that were upmarket. The company abandoned this strategy in an effort to give the Infiniti brand its own unique line of models. With global sales in decline, the company appears to be reverting to old strategy to shore up its finances and future.

Infiniti isn't the only brand attempting to return to the successes of the late 90s and early 2000s. Acura has begun rolling out a bold strategy featuring performance-focused models, including the 2021 Acura TLX and TLX Type S.

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The iX M60 will hit dealers' lots in June 2022.

BMW

BMW's electric vehicle catalog is growing rapidly as the automaker rolls out new electrified cars and SUVs. The latest is the iX M60, a red-hot five-seat SUV with sleek styling and a spectacular list of standard features. BMW announced the new SUV this week, along with pricing and release date details.

The iX M60 is BMW's first performance-oriented electric SUV, though BMW calls it a sports activity vehicle, or SAV. Its powertrain has been massaged to produce up to 610 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque. Maximum power delivery is limited to times when the vehicle's launch control is activated, but even the "normal" numbers are impressive: In regular driving situations, the iX puts down 532 horsepower and 749 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration to 60 mph takes 3.6 seconds and the iX M60 can go on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

2023 BMW iX M60 Though extremely sporty, BMW doesn't shy away from using loads of luxurious finishes and materials. BMW

The iX brings more than performance, as its charging capabilities are quite strong. Using AC power, the vehicle can charge from 0-100 percent in 10.25 hours on its fastest setting. Using its fastest DC power setting, the iX can charge from 10 to 80% in just 35 minutes.

Two electric motors power the SUV, which provide standard all-wheel drive. Dual-axle air suspension is standard, along with electronically-controlled shock absorbers. BMW says that the air suspension is controlled individually at each wheel, so the vehicle can adjust ride height in several ways to maintain stability and remain level in corners.

2023 BMW iX M60 The vehicle can run from 0-60 mph in under four seconds and features standard AWD.BMW

When it goes on sale in June, 2022, the 2023 BMW iX M60 will have a starting price of $106,095, which includes a $995 destination charge. That's a flagship price tag, but the SUV's got the performance and a flagship-level list of standard features. That six-figure dollar amount buys 21-inch wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, AC fast charging, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlights, a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, four-zone automatic climate controls, and more.

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The EQXX Concept features a crazy driving range.

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is putting its century-plus of automotive experience into building electric cars, and the results are impressive. The EQS is an electric flagship with great range, and the automaker has unveiled several concepts to show its future plans. The Vision EQXX concept debuted today as an ultra-efficient luxury EV with astonishing range numbers.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept Mercedes focused on efficiency over power with the car. Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes' focus with the EQXX is efficiency over power, as it says the car is its most efficient it has ever made. The EQXX uses less than 10 kWh per 100 kilometers (around 62 miles), which equates to 620 miles on a single charge. The battery was designed with tech and knowledge from Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team, especially when it comes to size and weight. The EQXX's battery pack is 50 percent smaller by volume and 30 percent lighter than the pack in the EQS, which already featured astonishing efficiency.

The car's impressive range comes at the expense of horsepower, which in this case means just 201 ponies from the EQXX's electric drivetrain. Mercedes says that the system is capable of delivering up to 95 percent energy efficiency - an impressive figure for power delivery to the wheels. Extremely efficient gas powertrains only achieve around 30 percent efficiency and a human long-distance runner can hit around 50 percent.

Mercedes-Benz EQXX Concept The EQXX is impressively slippery, which improves its range.

The EQXX is a slippery car, too, and with a drag coefficient of just 0.17, the car cuts through the air with ease. The typical EV uses up to two-thirds of its battery capacity just to push through the air, so the EQXX's aerodynamics is a big part of its efficiency. The other big part is Mercedes' thermal management system, which uses shutters and cooling plates to maintain an ideal battery and electric drive unit temperature. The plates allow the EQXX to gain about 12 miles of range in its most aerodynamic mode.

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