Infiniti: Company History, Current Models, Interesting Facts ...


Infiniti is a popular high-end automobile manufacturer based out of Japan. They currently operate as the luxury division of fellow Japanese automaker Nissan. The company got its start in 1989 in the North American market. They have since expanded their operations to 15 different countries.

Company History

Infiniti got its start as the luxury division of the Japanese automaker Nissan in 1989. The brand’s initial focus was on the United States, particularly the premium vehicle market. Infiniti was established around the same time that rival car companies Toyota and Honda began to develop their premium vehicle lines (Lexus and Acura respectively).

The first two Infiniti models that were launched were the Q45 and the M30. Both models were full-size luxury vehicles. The next year, 1990, Infiniti introduced a new model. This was the slightly smaller, two-door M30 luxury car.

Thanks to initial success, Infiniti continued to add to its line of luxury vehicles throughout the 1990s. At the same time, however, Infiniti was lagging behind Lexus and Acura as far as actual sales went.

Infiniti continued to introduce new models and fine-tune its current offerings. The company’s persistence allowed them to get a leg up on their competitors and move close towards their sales figures. In 1997, Infiniti became one of the first brands to offer a mid-size luxury SUV.

The Japanese asset price bubble of 2000 forced Nissan to consider dropping their Infiniti division. They decided to redevelop their model line instead. They redirected their efforts to creating a dynamic and powerful line of luxury sports cars.

Infiniti has continued to boast impressive sales figures throughout the 2000s and into the 2010s. Their G Series (sedan, coupe, and convertible) accounts for the majority of their sales.

Flagship Model

The Infiniti Q50 is the company’s current flagship model. The car takes the form of a compact executive sedan. It replaced the Infiniti G sedan and went on sale for the first time in 2013.

In many ways, the design and styling of the Q50 are similar to the 2009 Infiniti Essence concept car and the production 2011 Infiniti M. It features a crescent-cut C-pillar, deep body section, asymmetrical cabin layout, and luxury interior finishes. The Q50 also boasts a three-dimensional double-arch grille.

The Infiniti Q50 was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in 2013. It was then shown at a multitude of other auto shows including the 2013 Canadian International Auto Show, the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, the Dubai International Motor Show, the Auto Guangzhou Motor Show in China, and the Victoria Harbor Motor Show in Hong Kong.

North American models of the car come in several different varieties. Customers can choose between a number of engine types as well as trim levels. Engine types include either a 3.7-Liter V6 or a 3.5-Liter Hybrid. Both engine types come with the choice of rear-wheel drive or Infiniti’s Intelligent All-Wheel Drive.

Two additional models of the Infiniti Q50 sedan are currently offered. These include the Q50 Hybrid and the limited Q50 Exclusive Designer Edition. The Exclusive Designer Edition of the car was designed by Zac Posen and Thom Browne, well known fashion designers. Special touches like chrome body finish, a sterling silver ring encircling the gear-shift handle, and luggage specifically made to fit in the truck help the Exclusive Designer Edition stick out from the pack.

Current Models

Infiniti currently manufacturers and sells a wide variety of model types. Most of their coupes, sedans, and crossovers are based off of the Nissan FM Platform. These cars are basically more luxurious, higher performing version of models from this platform.

The current models produced by Infiniti include the flagship Q50, the Q60, the Q70, the QX50, the QX60, the QX70, and the QX80. The Infiniti Q40 is set to be released later this year. Q usually designates a sedan/coupe style car while QX denotes an SUV/crossover SUV style vehicle.

Previous Models

Infiniti has produced a number of different models are cars since it got its start in 1989. These models include the Infiniti G (Coupe and Convertible), the Infiniti M30 (Coupe and Convertible), the M35/M45 (Sedan), the Infiniti QX4 (SUV), the Infiniti J30 (Sedan), the Infiniti I30 (Sedan), the Infiniti I35 (Sedan), and the Infiniti Q45 (Sedan).

Four concept vehicles have also been produced by Infiniti. They are the Infiniti Triant (2003), the Infiniti Kuraza (2005), the Infiniti Essence (2009), the Infiniti Etherea (2011), the Infiniti Emerg-e (2012), the Infiniti LE (2012), the Infiniti Q30 (2013), and the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration (2014).

Interesting Facts

Nissan has used the Infiniti brand to race in several different motorsports event. The first was the 1996 Indy Racing League. The Infiniti Q45 was used until 2002. More recently, in 2011, Infiniti signed Sebastian Vettel, World Formula 1 Champion, as its first global ambassador.

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