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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McLaren has chosen an easy-to-pronounce name for its new hybrid supercar - Artura.

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

McLaren is about to mark the beginning of a new era in hybrid powertrain engineering. In the first half of 2021, its high-performance hybrid series production supercar will go on sale and we now know what it will be named.

The McLaren Artura builds on the legacy of the McLaren P1TM hybrid hypercar, which was unveiled in 2012, and the Speedtail Hyper-GT, which entered production this year and the fastest McLaren ever with a top speed of 250 mph.

"Every element of the Artura is all-new – from the platform architecture and every part of the High-Performance Hybrid powertrain, to the exterior body, interior and cutting-edge driver interface – but it draws on decades of McLaren experience in pioneering super-lightweight race and road car technologies to bring all of our expertise in electrification to the supercar class," said Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.

Mclaren Artura The Artura badging sits on what is likely the rear of the car.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

It will be the first car to be built on the company's new platform architecture, which has been optimized for electrification. Design and engineering of the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture took place in the U.K. at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre.

Two photos released by the company show what is likely the back of the Artura, with a honeycomb design beneath the car's badging between two exhaust outlets.

The Artura will get a twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine that combines with an electric motor. This will be the engine's debut. McLaren says that the engine retains the performance benefits of the company's larger V8s but has improved torque response at low engine speeds. The Artura can also run on all-electric power.

The weight of the hybrid engine system has been offset by the application of weight-saving technologies throughout the chassis, body, and powertrain. Ahead of a full product reveal, McLaren is touting the car's class-leading weight advantage.

The McLaren Artura is expected to be revealed soon. Pricing will likely be announced at that time.

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The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class elevates the luxury marque to new heights.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The formula for every Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is simple. Take a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and elevate it to a bonkers level. Make it lush and plush, and suitable to use as an executive's limousine. That's exactly what Mercedes has done with the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The car starts with a stretch. Its wheelbase is seven inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. All that stretching benefits rear seat occupants the most. But that's not all the perks for back seat riders. Long day at the office? Not a problem. The cabin has been upgraded to include new comfort features like a calf rest massage function and neck/shoulder heating.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class The model gets a unique front grille.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

This Mercedes is also differentiated from the rest of the S-Class at its face with a unique Mercedes-Maybach grille, complete with vertical chrome pinstripes. The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS received a similar treatment. At its sides, an admirer can see that the rear doors are wider and C-pillars feature a fixed quarter light as well as the Maybach brand logo. Adaptive rear lighting makes its debut on the model.

Buyers can request their chauffeur-ready car with a two-tone paint finish. The two paint colors are divided by a coachline that is applied by hand. Rolls-Royce offers a similar scheme.

The car's electrified engine is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that delivers 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. That's less on-paper power than the previous version of the model offered, but the electric boost off the line should make up for that, and make the vehicle more fuel efficient. Motor1.com has confirmed that an all-wheel-drive, V12-powered Maybach S-Class will be part of the lineup when it goes on sale.

Rear-wheel steering makes the car more maneuverable than its dimensions may have lead you to believe. A variety of wheel designs are available including 20-inch monolocks and 21-inchers.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Buyers can upgrade from the initial Mercedes-Maybach to add electrically operated comfort rear doors. This features allows for the doors to be opened with little force, even when the car is parked on a grade. Rear doors can also be operated from the driver's seat - an important function for those looking to be driven in their car rather than getting behind the wheel.

The cabin of the S-Class is as well-appointed as you may imagine it should be. Authentic materials featured alongside alluring color schemes are standard for the model.

It features high-quality wood surrounds on the sesatbacks of the front seats. Adding the Executive Rear Seat Plus package adds a similar area of trim between the two rear passengers. A seat belt extender has been integrated into the backrest of the Executive seat.

This Mercedes builds on the traditional S-Class's two standard infotainment screens and ups the number to five. In the middle of the car is a 12.8-inch display. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Two 11.6-inch screens are on the rear setbacks, and a removable tablet is stowed in the rear center console.

The car utilizes active noise cancelling technology to keep the cabin of the luxury sedan serene. To add in music, buyers can activate the S-Class's standard Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound system.

Heated, cooling, and multi contour seats are available for each passenger. There's a calf massager for when rear seat passengers need a little extra TLC and a beverage chiller that is located in the center rear of the back console. Custom champagne flutes are available, natch.

The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580 will arrive at U.S. dealerships in mid-2021.

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