Infiniti has released the first details and photos of its new compact crossover. Dubbed the QX30, the latest addition to the premium lineup is set for parallel debuts at the upcoming auto shows in Los Angeles and in Guangzhou, China. And with it, the luxury automaker is going after a younger demographic.
Previewed by the QX30 concept unveiled earlier this year in Geneva, the new crossover joins the Q30 hatchback in Infiniti's new "entry-level" model line. Set to be produced at Nissan's mega factory in Sunderland, UK, the QX30 will be the first Infiniti to be built in Europe. But as you might discern from its introduction in LA, it'll form a vital part of the brand's strategy for the US market as well.
The design looks instantly recognizable as an Infiniti, looking almost exactly like the Q30... only more rugged. Apart from the increased ride height, suitably ruggedized lower bodywork, and telltale (but slimline) roof rails, it adopts the same curvaceous, organic lines as the hatchback, and signature double-arch grille and kinked C-pillar as you'd expect from any modern Infiniti.
The Japanese automaker has yet to show us much of the interior, but it promises an asymmetric design, premium materials, and ergonomic surfaces. Nor has Infiniti revealed much in the way of technical details. What it has told us, however, is that the new QX30 will encompass an all-wheel-drive system capable of sending up to 50 percent of output to the rear wheels, running through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.
Availability of diesel and gasoline engines will depend on the individual market. If its lower-riding stablemate is anything to go by, we should be looking at a 2.0-liter turbo four producing 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Technical specifications are due to be announced closer to its market introduction in the middle of next year. At that point, rivals like the Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Lexus NX will be put on notice as Infiniti joins an increasingly competitive market for premium compact crossovers.