2011 Infiniti M – Click above for high-res image gallery
Take a look at the Infiniti line-up compared to other top-tier luxury automakers and something's missing. Nissan's luxury arm hasn't had biggie-sized luxo-barge after the brand killed the Q45 in 2006, and it doesn't look like a replacement is coming anytime soon.
Speaking with Automotive News, Toru Saito, Infiniti's veep of global business contends that the recently released M sedan will "play a flagship role" for the automaker going forward, and judging by the dimensions of the new M – which comes in around the same size as the old Q – he's partially right.
Despite matching Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz point-for-point on its entry-level and mid-size models, Infiniti's offerings have always straddled segments. The G37 is noticeably larger than the A4, 3 Series, IS and C-Class, while the M – which would traditionally take on the A6, 5 Series and E-Class – has grown considerably since it's last iteration.
According to Saito, if there's significant demand for a larger vehicle in Infiniti's line-up, the automaker will consider reviving the Q, but for now "the No. 1 challenge is the environment and efficiency."
Related GalleryFirst Drive: 2011 Infiniti M56
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]