Infiniti unveiled an all-new 2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan at a press conference at the 2013 North American International Auto Show – NAIAS – today. The compact Q50 takes many of its exaggerated styling cues from the Infiniti Essence concept, with swooping curves and angular accent lines, in an attempt to separate itself from more traditional German designs, which is not necessarily a good thing. Inside, the Q50 interior offers a driver- oriented cockpit with communications system that has large dual touch-screens.
Q50 will be available with a choice of a 328-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 or new Q50 Hybrid. Both powertrains will be offered with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel-drive.
The luxury brand of Japanese Nissan claimed two “world’s first” production technologies when Q50 appears this summer: so-called Direct Adaptive Steering technology and Active Lane Control. The new steering system allows control of the Q50’s tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system steer-by wire. Four different steering settings are offered, allowing customization by driver preference or road conditions. Active Lane Control uses a camera-based lane marker detection to correct wandering distracted drivers.
“This morning we are about to launch Infiniti on a bold new journey, a new Infiniti brand direction built on a foundation of our past and guided by a clear vision for the future,” said Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen, who was poached from Audi last year, not in time to influence the controversial design.
Infiniti reported a year-over-year U.S. sales increase of 22% for 2012 at 120,000 vehicles. The “rocks and trees” luxury brand (based on its Japanese style showrooms and advertising) has been in the shadow of Toyota’s Lexus, which sold 244,000 vehicles during 2012 and is introducing a compact IS sports sedan at NAIAS.