Running a luxury brand used to be simple. Tart up a few mass-market sedans with leather interiors and power accessories, slap on a big hood ornament, jack the price through the roof, then sit back and watch the gravy train flow. These days it couldn't be more different. You need dedicated luxury platforms and halo cars and marketing tie-ins. And if you really want to be taken seriously among the cognoscenti, you need an in-house performance tuner to craft your own AMG or M-series line of cars.

Which brings us to Infiniti, the formerly North American-only luxury brand. It has been going toe-to-toe with Mercedes and BMW in some product segments for years, but with aspirations of competing with the big two luxury marques globally, it needs to put some muscle behind its nascent Infiniti Performance Line brand. So that 414-horsepower Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel Version you saw at Frankfurt? Yep, it's coming, according to an interview with Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer on the company's corporate blog. And although it won't necessarily be branded an IPL car, Palmer says the Vettel FX will serve as a pilot, to prove that Infiniti can sell "low-volume, very special versions, and be able to charge a premium."

Vettel took his second straight Formula 1 title with a victory in Japan this weekend, and Infiniti might as well capitalize on its marketing partnership with Red Bull Racing. You don't spend upwards of $10 million on a racing deal if you're not going to use it to sell cars. Of course, Vettel is hardly a celebrity in the U.S., so we'll have to wait to hear some official word about North American plans. "Right now," Nissan PR told us, "it is still simply a concept."

Watch the entire interview with Palmer after the jump.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      David Lloyd
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is what Infiniti should do with their IPL cars. More distinctive but tasteful bodywork and most important of all, more power!!!
      --RAfiKi-
      • 3 Years Ago
      ILL TAKE THE SRT 8 AND KEEP MY MONEY HERE-IN THE USA
        Felspawn
        • 3 Years Ago
        @--RAfiKi-
        Quick someone Explain FIAT to --RAfiKi-
          XT6Wagon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Felspawn
          can I smash my nuts with a cinderblock instead? Same pain, and alot less time wasted.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Felspawn
          Why would you need to do that? Fiat OWNS Chrysler, they DO NOT build Chryslers. The money goes to Chrysler in the US.
          ThomasP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Felspawn
          HAHAHAHA nice one RAfiki...
      Adamnski
      • 3 Years Ago
      I know that the haters will come out in full force on this one. But I think the things looks badass, compared to some of the modified Porsche Cayenne's out there. Also looks like it means business better than a X6M and there really isn't an offering from Merc in this category. I guess this is the "Sport" in Sport Utility Vehicle"
        mostchillininsc
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Adamnski
        I'm right there with you Adamnski. We better put our flame suits on now! :) I will be in the market for the a SUV in the New Year and this will definitely be on the list if available here. I have a wide ranging list that also includes the SRT8 among others. I have owned Infiniti before and would happily go back to that ownership experience. With the Vettel FX, for once, I actually like almost everything about it including the wheels. Which is saying a lot considering I at least do wheels and suspension on most vehicles I purchase.
        ThomasP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Adamnski
        +1 love this thing. Hope it paves the way for more High Performance machinery from Infiniti. I LOVE the fact that Nissan refuses to conform to Germany's style and allows its designers to create a distinctive Japanese style. The GT-R and is the Gundam and Infiniti the Katana to Audi's manufactured Bauhaus and BMW's flame-surfaced sculpture.
      Shindig
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another answer to the question no body is asking. Bet the first ones on the used car market see their values sink faster than an unchained boat anchor.
      whofan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Bloated looking design.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      peakarach1
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why don't Infiniti just use engine from GT-R on all Infiniti IPL?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      XT6Wagon
      • 3 Years Ago
      Clearly the failure of infinity is that they lacked a performance sub-brand. Completely unrelated to the terrible marketing of completely uninspiring products. Infinity also seemed unable to ever grasp why certain cars were popular. The decision making that goes on at nissan/infinity baffles me constantly. For example, at the price it is, wouldn't infinity been a better choice for thier SUV convertable? Certainly it would keep to thier track record of wierd pointless cars no one bothers to buy. Yet it would justify the pricetag far better and the styling would be far better matched to the convertable top than the murano.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @XT6Wagon
        You know, I'd have totally let you off if you did it once, but you misspelled Infiniti 5 times. It's right in front of you.
          XT6Wagon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Sorry, I guess I'm spoiled by Lexus, and BMW being both easy and relevant to the market. Mercedes being a bit harder on the typical engish speaker.
      Ben Wright
      • 3 Years Ago
      yep, definitely looks like it was designed by a twenty two year old. but since I'm twenty, I'd drive it if they took that wing off
      Seven Eigh8 Si6
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would get it, if priced right.
      Greg
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why doesn't Infiniti make a stretched sedan version of the GT-R to compete with the Porsche Panamera Turbo and make it a range topping IPL vehicle? I'm sure that there are quite a few people who are interested in buying a 4 door GT-R that can outrun almost any car on the streets today. Infiniti needs more distinctive IPL models that are unique to the brand. If they had a GT-R based sedan, they would have something unique that Mercedes, BMW, and Audi don't have.
        Sukairain
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Greg
        Why no GT-R sedan? Ride comfort, engine NHV, transmission roughness. Address all those issues, then the car will make too many performance sacrifices to be worthwhile. I think they should consider Turbo charged engines or AMG motors in the Infiniti chasis. Infiniti M63 sounds pretty good to me, or a G55.
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