• Jan 15, 2008

Before unveiling the simply fantastic new GT-R in Los Angeles, Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn did not appear to be a big fan of high-end halo cars. Renault's line-up is limited primarily to compact hatchbacks and sedans, while the Infiniti Q45 was discontinued two years ago without a replacement. But with the GT-R now exceeding expectations, and Renault looking at new flagship models, a new Q flagship is back on the table.

Although Infiniti was until now just for the North American market, like its rivals Lexus and Acura, the brand is being expanded into other emerging luxury markets like China, Korea and Russia. Infiniti dealers from those four markets recently met with Ghosn at Nissan's R&D center in Atsugi, Japan, where they were shown preliminary alternatives for a new Q.

Trouble is, the various dealers from different markets all wanted different things. According to reports, Ghosn isn't convinced a new flagship luxury sedan for Infiniti is the way to go, but he's giving his managers the opportunity to convince him otherwise. If they can present a compelling business case, a new Q could be around the corner.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]



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  • 21 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      The last version of the Q45 stands as one of the most underrated luxury vehicles ever built. It was sporty, powerful, refined and comfortable. It was one of the best blends of luxury and sport in it's segment (even more so in it's exact price bracket). At the time of it's introduction, this version of the Q45 was one of the most technologically advanced vehicles around. Remember that commercial years back when they first advertised their back up camera and voice recognition feature??? Yep, that was the Q45. The cabin was very luxurious and comfortable. It was an overall excellent luxury car. I don't see why it didn't sell the way it should have. Of course a lot of you morons are going to write what you will, bashing this car, just like you do most anything coming out of Nissan and Infiniti. It's fine though, for those who have driven and spent time in this car, it is undeniable that this was an excellent and tremendously underrated automobile.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't know what area you guys live in but I see plenty of M class on the streets and occasionally a Q45. Q45 had always ahead of its time of other competition in terms of technology, gadgets and power for the price. G37 is here, FX37 and FX50 are coming soon, M37 / M50 will soon follow.

        If they want a flagship, they should rename it to Q50 and loads tons of goodies in it like the 7-series and you know it will cost less than the BMW.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What the hell is this thing? It looks like a Korean copy of an Inifiniti.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Are you people in pre-school? How can any car enthusiast not know that the picture on this post is a picture of the last Q45? It was sold in the last ten years. You know, one of the first cars to have voice activated controls, and the one with the (at the time) the outrageous center console with the most ridiculously over-chromed cassette player ever to be put in a car? The headlights were pretty outrageous for the time, too. Do you guys know what an S2000 is? Or an Infiniti QX4? Or an Acura CL? Same time period. These aren't cars from ancient history.

        Though I do agree that now it does kind of look like a Koren car...
      • 7 Years Ago
      A halo car to me is a niche product whose impact is measured by publicity, not sales.

      A large Infinity luxury sedan (along with the Lexus LS, Mercedes S, etc.) is by no means a halo car. They don't sell as many as their smaller models, but I wouldn't consider it a specialty model.

      No, the main problem is that Infiniti simply hasn't kept up with the competition in this segment. The recent Q was so-so, the one before was gawd-awful ugly, the original one was nice but overshadowed by the rocks and the trees.

      I think the greater issue is whether Ghosn trusts his designers will come up with a Q worth its development costs.
      • 7 Years Ago
      He doesn't need a halo sedan. He has a halo driver in the returning Alonso. He needs a hyperformance sport sedan with the Renault nameplate in the EU and the Infiniti plate in the US to leverage Fernando and the investment in F1.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How can you be a luxury make and not have a Halo car? Does any luxury make not have a halo car?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Acura (the NSX is gone and the RL doesn't count)
        Cadillac (sort of, depends on how you count the XLR or V-Series).
        Lincoln.
        Saab.
        Volvo (sort of, depends on how you class the S80)

        ...and Infiniti, obviously.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think the M is a great car in that class and I would buy one if I was hopping for a sedan. I would rather see a smaller entry-level RWD car and a roadster of some sort over some luxo-barge personally.

      If they really want to go upscale, they should use the Maserati QP as the benchmark instead of the Audi/Mercedes/Lexus...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't think its neccesary. M45 is big enough to me. I'd rather see a hotted up version of the M35/45. Maybe put the GT-R's mill in a Infiniti M.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In response to Ric Kaysen;
      the Q in the photo is the old Q which was discontinued two years ago.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ok...it's discontinued. I really don't pay much attention to yawn inspiring cars like this, so I didn't read the copy and only half looked at the picture.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I see, just passing by. No problem, just wanted to share some information.
        Your response is well received, albeight, not necessary.
        Thanks,
        Sandro
      • 7 Years Ago
      Exciting...Looks like a Crown Vic
        • 7 Years Ago
        That was my first thought exactly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I partially agree with John R in using the GT R mill, but it should be utilized in a "flagship" vehicle.
      Infiniti is still trying to achieve luxury status and a halo car would help them in their quest. Saying all that; I do not want to criticize the performance of the "M" in anyway whatsoever. The M is a much better driving vehicle than some of the import luxury lines, but it still does not impress customers as a luxury vehicle like Lexus has done.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I dont think the flagships of BMW, Lexus, Caddilac, Mercedes, or Acura sell as well as their lower and mid price models. After owning a 91Q which would outrun all of the above for that model year, a 97 Q which was more of a luxo cruiser but still very nice, and now a 04, M45 which is a beast, i love running away from Mustang GT,s. I hope they do bring back the Q.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Unfortunately i can't see it happening. The M is hardly flying off the lots..
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