Infiniti will ditch its current badging strategy in 2014, opting instead to carry a ‘Q’ or ‘QX’ prefix on all models. The first car to get the name-swap will be the Q50, an all-new Audi A4-style sports saloon that arrives in January 2013 to replace the G37.
How does today’s Inifiniti range shape up?
Currently, Infiniti’s model range is set apart with several different letter combinations. The G family (all badged G37 on account of the 3.7-litre petrol V6 being the only powerplant available) is a BMW 3-series-sized saloon. The G37 also spawns coupe and cabrio variants. One size up is Infiniti’s 5-series rival: the M saloon.
Then there are the crossovers: the smaller EX and larger, more outlandish-looking FX SUV.
And in 2014 all Infinitis will switch to Q-branding?
Correct. ‘Q’ will denote saloon, and ‘QX’ a crossover. Each model will then carry a double-digit suffix showing its position in the range, instead of the current system of engine size. The G37 saloon replacement will be the Q50, arriving at the 2013 Detroit motor show. Following that will be Q60 coupe and cabrio models, to rival the Audi A5 and BMW 4-series.
Out goes the M saloon, and in comes the Q70, rounding off the saloon range. For the UK-bound crossovers, EX morphs into QX50, and FX becomes QX70. No clue as to engine size is given in the model name.
Why has Infiniti chosen ‘Q’ as a badge structure?
To simplify the range, and get customers noticing the brand. ‘Q’ itself is derived from the old Q45, Infiniti’s breakthrough flagship saloon. The V8/rear-drive-only Q45 was built for three model generations from 1989 to 2006, aimed squarely at the American market.
Still confused? Consider this. Infiniti, like many brands, is frantically downsizing its engine range – soon, a suite of Mercedes and Renault-sourced smaller capacity petrol and diesel engines will appear. Infiniti is worried that buyers will feel shortchanged swapping from a G37 to a G20 T. Hence the opportunity for a badge shake-up.