GENEVA -- Infiniti said it will target younger affluent customers with its QX30 compact crossover.
Infiniti unveiled a concept for the crossover here Monday on the eve of the Geneva auto show. The production version will be “highly influenced by the sleek concept,” Roland Krueger, Infiniti CEO, told journalists.
The QX30 will be Infiniti’s first entry in the booming compact crossover segment. It will be a rival to the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X3.
Infiniti said the distinctive design of the QX30 would appeal to premium customers who want something different. “The concept shows how Infiniti will bring a sense of disruption to the premium compact segment, Infiniti’s head of design, Alfonso Albaisa, said.
Infiniti said the global premium compact segment is forecast for significant growth with the entry of younger affluent customers whose idea of a premium car has less to do with size or power but more to do with distinctive design and outstanding execution.
“By the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent about 80 percent of buyers in the premium compact segment. Research among this new generation of buyers shows an increasing rejection of traditional notions toward premium cars,” Infiniti said in a statement.
The QX30 concept is powered by a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine combined with a seven-speed transmission. Infiniti said the production version will come with different powertrains, including a diesel but gave no further details.
Both the QX30, and its sibling, the Q30 compact hatchback, are based on Daimler’s MFA platform that underpins models such as the Mercedes A class compact car and GLA crossover.
The QX30 concept is 4430mm long, 1815mm wide and 1530mm tall. It has a ground clearance of 192mm.
Both the Q30 and the QX30 will be built at a new facility within Nissan’s Sunderland, England, plant with a capacity of 60,000 a year. Of those 30,000 will go to Europe, split 60/40 between the Q30 and QX30, Francois Goupil de Bouille told Automotive News Europe at the press event. The reminder of the cars will be sold worldwide, including the U.S. and China, de Bouille said.
The QX30 will go on sale in Europe in mid-2015. The Q30 will arrive in European showrooms toward the end of this year. Infiniti gave no details of U.S. launch dates.