Looks like: Nine-tenths of Infiniti's next entry-premium car
Defining characteristics: Asymmetric dashboard, Q50 face
Ridiculous features: Ceramic portions of the upper seats, oversized stitching along the bolsters
Chance of being mass-produced: Count on it
As we previewed in August, Infiniti unveiled the Q30 concept at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show, and now we have more than one photo of the car to scrutinize. The Q30, a sleek four-door hatchback concept that melds aspects of the Q50 sedan with a high belt line and crossover-like tail, slots at the bottom of Infiniti's revamped naming convention.
Infiniti, Nissan's luxury division, says the Q30's lines evoke a cheetah's "floating grace" — not the first time an automaker has invoked the catlike reference. Still, we're feline just fine about the Q30's lines, which suggest Infiniti's Q30/Q50 face is here to stay.As to be expected in a concept car, cabin materials appear top-notch. Leather wrapping adorns swaths of the car's dashboard; Infiniti says the black panels elsewhere have hints of bronze. The front seats have enormous leather straps that line the bolsters and ceramic upper sections with integrated speakers. Real metal covers other various surfaces. No doubt some materials won't make the production car, but the design — whose asymmetric layout appeals — should carry forth.
Infiniti says it aimed the Q30 at a "new generation of premium customers." Read: young people — that is, affluent young people, and the same ones targeted by everything from the BMW i3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class to the Lexus CT 200h. They're also the people who are driving less, at least here in America. In China, where Infiniti wants to make inroads, young people still dominate the driving ranks.
Still, Infiniti says Gens X and Y will represent 80% of premium-car buyers by 2020. A production version would compete with a slew of entry-premium cars that share general price and size characteristics rather than a uniform body style. The brand calls the Q30 "the design precursor for Infiniti's future compact premium entry," so we expect a production version to arrive in the coming months. Infiniti is mum on drivetrain details, but the brand says F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti's performance director, had his hand in the entire development process. Stay tuned, and check out more photos below.
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