Infiniti EX Concept: the lowdown
Infiniti is Nissan’s answer to Lexus, a wannabe aspirational and luxurious brand aimed squarely at Audi, Mercedes and BMW's home turf. Nissan has enjoyed a reasonable success with Infiniti in the US, and they're coming to Europe next year. The new EX, shown today for the first time in concept form, is to be unveiled at the New York Motor Show in April - and it will spearhead the launch in Europe in 2008. This is Infiniti's bid to lure us away from their BMW X3 and Lexus RX rivals. Are we impressed? Well, on first acquaintance it looks like a slick crossover - with more than a hint of its big brother, the ultra-cool FX45...
So what’s the EX got that the X3 hasn’t?
At least an extra 500cc. The EX will come with the 3.5-litre V6 currently found under the bonnet of the Nissan 350Z, so it’s likely to be packing some healthy horsepower. We're talking around 300bhp, and Infiniti is promising a barrage of technology as standard, including blind-spot cameras and lane departure warning systems. The downside to the EX is that there will be no diesel option available for the first two years of production, which is pretty crucial for the European market. Infiniti has a Renault-derived V6 TD unit lined up for 2010, and it can't come soon enough.
Can the EX really outdo the big guns in Europe?
Infiniti is keeping its feet on the ground on the sales front, expecting modest, sub-10,000 sales for its whole range in Europe in the first year. There’s no doubt that Nissan showrooms have their work cut out for them, but there’s hope for Infiniti yet. The EX and the 2008 FX have sharper styling than anything BMW currently has to offer and if Nissan can undercut BMW on price tags, then Infiniti should be able to nibble into the established German exec-car hegemony. And the CLK-rivalling G37 coupe will add to the brand's appeal.