A new M sedan will dominate the buzz at Infiniti for the next several months.
Beyond that, the brand's car plans have fallen victim to cost-cutting. A BMW 1-series competitor has been postponed. A new flagship sedan, essentially a spiritual successor to the big Q45, has been canceled. Infiniti is chopping r&d costs until the world economy rebounds.
So the biggest, newest car in Infiniti showrooms for the next several years will be the redesigned 2011 M.
Technology will continue to be a key theme. Consider Infiniti's blind-spot intervention system. The new M safety feature will detect a vehicle in a driver's blind spot during an attempted lane change and actively nudge the M back into the original lane to avoid an accident.
Powertrain plans remain in flux. A diesel engine had been under discussion for the United States. A 3.0-liter V-6 diesel will be offered in diesel-friendly Europe. But it is unclear whether U.S. dealers will get the engine, given questions about environmental regulations in California and the Northeast.
Here are highlights of Infiniti's 2010-12 vehicle plans.
Small car: Plans for a rear-drive, entry-level luxury car have been put on the back burner. The car was to have been Infiniti's response to the BMW 1 series and a car Lexus is preparing.
G37: With the introduction of the 2009 G37 hardtop convertible in June, the G series has three models.
Infiniti's highest-volume vehicle, the G37 sedan, receives a freshening for the 2010 model year that includes a new front grille, front fascia and headlights, along with 17-inch wheels and updated interior trim. Sales start in January.
Visual changes for the 2010 G37 coupe will be limited to new interior trim and colors and a new center console.
M35/M45: The M sedan is redesigned for the 2011 model year, adapting the curvaceous lines first seen on the Essence coupe concept. Sales begin in the second half of 2010. The rear-drive layout is retained, and all-wheel drive will be available with a 3.7-liter V-6 and a 5.6-liter V-8.
High-end technologies adapted to the Nissan Fuga, the brand's flagship in Japan, may be offered here. The Fuga is sold here as the M.
Infiniti plans to introduce a hybrid powertrain in 2012 or 2013, and it likely will be in the M. The M powertrain is expected to be based on the Essence concept. That vehicle boasts a hybrid system built around a 434-hp, 3.7-liter V-6 paired with a 157-hp electric motor.
Big sedan: Infiniti has shelved plans to develop a full-sized sedan for the 2012 model year. That car would have filled the hole left when Q45 sales ended in 2006.
EX35: No major changes are planned in the coming years for this crossover, redesigned for the 2009 model year.
FX37/FX50: A Bluetooth hands-free phone system for the crossover is standard for the 2010 model year.
QX56: A redesigned QX for the 2011 model year will be assembled in Japan. It is unclear whether the SUV will be smaller or retain the QX name.