Infiniti is desperate to position itself as a brand for performance enthusiast. It's tried to create that impression by attaching its name to the Red Bull Racing team, by sprucing up the G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible as part of its lack-luster Infiniti Performance Line, and by bringing Sebastian Vettel on board to create a special edition FX crossover. But the Japanese luxury brand knows it's going to need something more comprehensive if it's going to go up against BMW and its M models, Mercedes
Infiniti Performance Line
Remember when the price of entry to the "entry-level luxury" space was around $30,000? These days, that's the average price of a new car, nevermind something with premium brand cachet attached. Forgive our rose-colored glasses for a moment, but we've just come across the pricing announcement for the new-for-2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible and it starts at $60,600, *plus $895 for delivery. (If a fixed head is more your speed, the IPL G Coupe starts at $50,500). That's a whole lot of ducats.
We certainly like the idea behind the Infiniti Performance Line, but execution has left us largely underwhelmed. Instead of an M or AMG fighter, buyers are left with little more than fancy paint and a stiffer suspension. But according to Motor Trend, Infiniti may have something more impressive brewing.
Any luxury automaker worth its burlwood has to have a performance division. BMW has M. Mercedes-Benz has AMG. Audi's Quattro GmbH churns out S and RS models. Lexus has the letter F. Cadillac has V. And Infiniti has IPL.
History and the contemporary automotive market hold no lack of examples of F1 teams translating their checkered flags into road cars. It's practically Ferrari's raison d'être, after all. McLaren's following suit, as well. Even Williams has collaborated with Renault on performance-oriented Clios, and now with Jaguar on the C-X75. But though each of these teams has claimed its share of championships and then some, these days it's Red Bull Racing that's on top. Trouble is – PlayStation
2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery
2011 Infiniti IPL G Convertible – Click above for high-res image gallery
Infiniti IPL G Convertible Concept – Click above to enlarge image