From the April 2023 edition of Car and Driver.
Dear Mr. Kargar,
Infiniti’s first car made such an indelible impression on me that I bought a new one. The original Q45 had a unique belt buckle front emblem, a sculpted interior with impressive flowing surfaces, and a solid metal ignition key that felt heavy in the proud owner’s pocket. From there, the brand’s career ladder soared, with the G35, M45, and FX45 being fantastic, but other efforts, including the I30 and QX4, turning out to be underdeveloped and overly stylish Nissan clones.
Today’s lineup is a mix of the aging Q50 sedan, some unusual compact SUVs in the QX50 and QX55, the good but not class-leading QX60, and the luxurious but expensive body-on-frame QX80. The transition to EVs is a great opportunity to re-master the model mix. Infiniti needs to capitalize on the interest in luxury crossovers by offering a sleek, beautiful alternative that competes on price without compromising on premium touches.
• Start by converting the confirmed US-built 2025 electric sports sedan inspired by the Qs Inspiration into a more buyer-friendly high-riding form that could challenge the Mercedes EQC, which will be released at the same time.
• Suggestion number two is riskier but potentially more rewarding. No manufacturer has so far conquered the American and Chinese markets with high technology in a small package. Could Infiniti use the Ariya platform and be the first to manage a cute zero-emissions city explorer that won over its market’s large SUV and large sedan audience?
• SUVs are the heart of the lineup, and here Infiniti should challenge BMW. It seems clear that the new line will be electrified. Rest assured that when the QXE series—or however it’s eventually designated—comes out, the QXE50 slots above the electric X3 but costs less, the QXE70 beats the future electric X5 at a discount, and the QXE90 has clear visuals and functionality. edge over something like the X7 EV. In short, Infiniti must compete with BMW but remain more affordable to encourage buyers to take a risk on the brand.
The pending power plant paradigm shift looks like a minefield from afar, but there are brand-shaping opportunities waiting to be reaped. Oh, one more thing: When you check out the new Infiniti logo, take another look at the beautifully designed belt buckle emblem that graced the front fascia of the original Q45.
Although I was born the only child of an ornithologist and a postal clerk, it was clear early on that bird watching and stamp collecting were not my thing. Had I known that God wanted me to grow to 6’8″, I too would have refused anything to do with cars, which was to blame for a few slipped discs, torn ligaments, and a stupid hunched posture behind the wheel While working as a janitor at Aberdeen Zoo, smuggling cheap cigarettes from Yugoslavia to Germany, and an embarrassing stint with an amateur drama troupe also failed to yield satisfaction, driving and writing about cars was a better option. And it still is now, years later, as I approach my birthday. I’m 70. I love every aspect of my job except long-haul travel with crappy airlines, and I hope that shows.