Part coupe, part hatchback, part crossover, the Infiniti Q30 Concept goes out of its way to resolutely defy simple description. Making its debut in Frankfurt, this one-off design study for an expressively styled, premium compact vehicle signals the automaker's intent to press boldly into new territory through the implementation of more evocative and decidedly non-traditional visual themes that speak to both luxury and performance.
"The Q30 Concept represents a significant next step for Infiniti," noted Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company at its reveal. "The compact premium segment is crucial for our growth in markets like China and Europe and essential to meet the less-conventional expectations of Gen X and Gen Y. The Q30 Concept demonstrates how we intend to provoke the status quo with seductive product visions for a new generation of premium customers globally."
Created by a team under the direction of Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Director of Design, the Q30 Concept takes its expressive visual lead from cues introduced on the new Q50 Sedan. However, the Q30 Concept extends those dynamic themes into territory formerly relegated to dream cars like the Essence, Etherea and Emerg-e. With 20-inch alloy wheels pushed out to the corners of its aggressively contoured bodywork, a panoramic glass roof and racing-inspired carbon fiber accent elements, Albaisa likens the car's sleekly sensual light-and-lithe lines to those of a big cat running at full stride. He also promises this new and more adventurous character - a nuanced combination of Italian and Japanese design sensibilities -- won't just be confined to the Q30 Concept's production successor.
"Infiniti moving forward will definitely focus on the romance of the automobile. We will create the seductive alternative. We will constantly pursue a kind of bespoke, one-off rarity that will connect with the spirit of a new generation of premium customers."
That unique approach is equally evident in the cabin of the Q30 Concept, which aims to deliver class-leading execution of its innovative upscale elements. Again using a philosophy Albaisa refers to as "dissymmetry," the design team juxtaposed various components in a manner that creates a more sculpted look Infiniti believes will have far stronger visceral appeal to younger buyers than the more traditional approach found in conventional luxury vehicles. Premium materials in this richly appointed inner sanctum including fine leather, metal and ceramic add authenticity as well as visual flair to the mix. Even the Q30 Concept's basic interior color scheme - stark black and white at first glance -- becomes a match of cream and a bronze-tinged noir under closer inspection. Like its grille and wheels, the passenger compartment also is embellished with Infiniti-signature violet accenting, from the illumination of its instrument cluster to contrast stitching on the seats and dash.
At this point, the Q30 Concept reflects a work in progress and Infiniti provided no additional details on its platform or powertrain. However, the automaker did say the production offshoot will be the first model to have its dynamic character directly influenced by Sebastian Vettel - Infiniti's Director of Performance and 3-time Formula One World Driving Champion - from the very outset of development. As we previously reported, the volume-build Q30 is expected to be a front-driver underpinned by a variation of Mercedes-Benz' modular "MFA" small-car architecture currently used in its new A-Class/B-Class offerings and it likely will be powered by M-B's 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Infiniti did confirm that it plans to produce "a future compact model" in Sunderland, United Kingdom, starting in 2015. If that timeline holds true the new Infiniti Q30 should start rolling into showrooms here as a 2016 model.
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