The History of Infiniti
Nissan’s Answer To Acura: The History Of Infiniti
Updated September 3, 2018
In 1986 the Honda Motor Company would introduce a luxury line of their vehicles under the name of Acura. The vehicles introduce proved to be a success among the American market. The success was so great that it would gain the attention of both Nissan and Toyota. With the growing number of American buyers wanting luxury imports as well as the implementation of the Plaza Accord spurn Nissan to offer a new line of vehicles under the premium brand name marque Infiniti through a network of 51 dealerships. Infiniti would be introduced to the American market in 1989 with its debut of the Infiniti Q 45 and M 30.
The Early History Of Infiniti
The Infiniti Q 45 was based on the Nissan President model that was currently in production in Japan. The Infiniti Q 45 was to be the company’s flagship vehicle as it offered a V8 engine and four-wheel steering as well as several luxurious accommodations. The Q 45 was to go up against some of the top-rated foreign and domestic luxury vehicles in the American market. It was also the same time Infiniti launch their M 30 that was provide a luxury sport coupe of the time with its main competitor being the Lexus SC. The M 30 would lack strong sales due to its powertrain only producing 162 hp thus being far too small and weak of an engine for the vehicle and causing potential customers to be turned off. With rising sales of mid-level luxury cars for both competitors Lexus and Acura, Infiniti would answer with the J 30. Infiniti J 30 was produced to take on the Acura legend and Lexus ES 350 that were becoming very popular among American buyers. The J 30 was based upon a front engine rear wheel drive set up and used the same 3.0 L found in the Nissan 300 ZX. This would be the first vehicle to have them advertising campaign the so that it would draw in customers to the Infiniti brand.
Over the years to come throughout the 90s Infiniti continue to lag behind in sales against its competitors Acura and Lexus. In 1996 Infiniti would introduce the I 30 which was a rebadged Nissan Maxima but would lead to a boost in sales overall and worked well as an entry model. In 1997 Infiniti would introduce the first foreign luxury SUV which was based heavily on the Nissan Pathfinder. It is now known as QX4. Infiniti QX4 was released a year after Acura released the RLX which was a rebadged Isuzu Trooper and Lexus introduced the LX 450 which was a rebadged Toyota Land Cruiser.
Recent Infiniti History
By the year 2000 due to lackluster sales figures as well as problems with the Japanese asset price bubble was causing Nissan take a look at abolishing the Infiniti marque. Though the company was spared it was decided that it should focus more on producing more powerful luxury sports cars instead of just rebadged Nissan vehicles. In 2003 Nissan would get the boost that it needed from all new redesigned Infiniti G 35 coupe and sedan. The G 35 would bring in more youthful buyers that were previously unattractive to the Infiniti brand. In 2003 Motor Trend would raise the G 35 Infiniti the car of the year. Infinity would also introduce the predecessor to the Q 45 which would be the M 35 and M 45 sedans.
In 2008 Infiniti would introduce three models to the European market. Is 24 months Infiniti vehicles would be offered in 21 different European countries. In 2010 Infiniti would unveil its plans to develop performance lineup under the acronym IPL which did for Infiniti Performance Line. In 2012 Infiniti has launched two concept cars that are focusing on electric powertrain technology. These vehicles such as the Infiniti Emerg-E concept offer a small 1.2 L gasoline engine that works as an electric generator when the electric charge runs down thus giving the vehicle and extended range. Infiniti also introduced the Infiniti LE that was based on the powertrain of the Nissan Leaf. The LE would be a compact four-door that used a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that would be connected to a 100 kW electric motor that would produce 134 hp and 240 ft-lb of torque.
Categories: Production Cars