The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is one of those few must-do events for enthusiasts, and a great break from the late-winter blues. Infiniti is again the sponsor this year, and the event also offers the opportunity to see the new Q50 sedan, the replacement for the G37.
Infiniti Press Release follows:
Infiniti Continues Media Center Sponsorship at 2013 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Infiniti Pavilion Display Will Feature the 2014 Q50 Luxury Sports Sedan
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Infiniti is proud to announce its continued support of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance by sponsoring the Media Center at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island March 8-10, 2013.
More than 250 stunning classic and historic racing vehicles are expected to be displayed on the 10th and 18th fairways of The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach on Concours Sunday, along with an impressive Infiniti Pavilion display that will feature the brand’s all-new 2014 Q50 luxury sports sedan.
The Amelia Island Concours will be the first concours appearance of the Q50 since its world debut at the North American International Auto Show. The Infiniti Q50 is at the forefront of automotive innovation, incorporating class-leading, world-first technologies including Direct Adaptive Steering and Active Lane Control. The Infiniti Pavilion will also showcase a selection of Infiniti vehicles including the 2013 M luxury performance sedan, FX performance crossover, JX 7-passenger luxury crossover, QX full-size luxury SUV, and IPL™ G Convertible.
“As one of the nation’s leading Concours events, Infiniti is proud to once again support the Amelia Island Concours,” said Infiniti Vice President Ben Poore. “The event’s innovative classes and stunning vehicles have inspired thousands of car fans for the past two decades and we are honored to be a part of it.”
Credentialed Amelia Island Concours media are invited to visit the Infiniti Media Center inside the Ritz-Carlton from March 8-9. On March 10, the media center will be moved to the Golf Club of Amelia Island Clubhouse, adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton. Concours attendees are welcome to visit the Pavilion display throughout the 2013 Amelia Island Concours, March 8-10, 2013.
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, Infiniti M sedan, EX and FX crossovers, the QX full-size SUV and the all-new Infiniti JX luxury crossover. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at http://www.infinitiusa.com/.
We’re of a mixed-mind about the upcoming Q50, the next generation of the popular and well-regarded G37. While the chassis has undoubtedly stepped up a notch in responsiveness (and it’s still not known if it’s an Infiniti chassis, a shared Mercedes chassis, or – as we believe – just an update to the existing FM chassis), we’re disappointed that the manual transmission option has been dropped. While that would be ok if some sort of dual-clutch automated transmission had been offered it wasn’t and in fact the same 7-speed automatic remains.
And just to establish our credentials, our Stillen-supercharged G37S with over 500-horsepower at the flywheel remains the high-water mark of our “fleet” in so many dimensions. From the ultra-responsive chassis to the great brakes to the great seats, everything works in concert with this terrific engine. We had hoped to see something along these lines from the factory in this next-generation car… and while a twin-turbocharged v-6 engine of over 500 horsepower has been discussed by Global President Johan de Nysschen as an engine for an upcoming “flagship”, there is no word that it will end up in the Q50.
On the other end of the spectrum, the new Direct Response Hybrid engine, is interesting and worthwhile. Readers will remember that the first generation of this engine was originally shown to the press in the 2007 Infiniti G35 chassis, although it was only ever offered as the flagship M35H hybrid. While we have very few details about the “refined” lineup of Infiniti VQ engines yet, we do notice two things from the following image: 1) the electric motor sandwiched between the engine and the torque converter-less 7-speed transmission, and 2) the lack of the tubular headers used on the current VQ37. And, as the video shows us, the purpose of the electric motor is to assist in acceleration. It apparently cannot propel the car on its own, which would have required a far larger battery pack. In other words, this hybrid system is designed for enthusiast type driving.
Then there is the styling, which borrows some of the existing M styling (which we can live with), but also (in our humble opinion) goes too far in some of the odd bulges on the hood and especially in the enormous grill. In the image of the clay buck below, taken in the styling studio, we’ll admit that the low and wide grill looks handsome. But in the final production car, this translates into an enormous opening which dominates the front of the car instead of being handsome and restrained. Personally, we’re not interested in going along for the ride as Infiniti attempts to define it’s signature “design language” if we have to live with some of the mishmash that we’ve seen across the M, JX35, and now the G50. And especially the styling of the frankly bizarre Infiniti LE concept.
Also note that the interior, while handsome, drops the adjustable dashboard that has been a feature of the G for the last two generations. We’re very disappointed about that.
But we are still willing to keep an open mind until we see it and drive it, especially after viewing the current development videos that Infiniti released to explain some of the new features of the car.
1: Formula One driver Sebastien Buemi test drives the all-new Infiniti Q50 Direct Response Hybrid.
2. President of Infiniti Global Johan de Nysschen and Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura reveal the design philosophy and vision for the Infiniti Q50.
Press drives for the new Q50 are still some time off, so we’ll hold off a final opinion until then. And Infiniti has yet to show the new coupe, as well as any kind of replacement for the IPL models.
The next-generation Infiniti G37, er, Q50, was revealed this morning at the Detroit show. The unveiling was also broadcast live across the internet to many thousands of Infiniti G fans worldwide.
As the owner of a Stillen-supercharged G37S, we have mixed feelings about this latest G, er, Q. Not only the renaming of the car, but it’s direction. As production availability is several months off (targeted for summer), we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and wait for full specs to be published.
You’ll notice the familiar VQ35 engine with its new hybrid layout, including the bright orange power cable. But looking around the engine compartment, we see the familiar covered compartments for the brake system on the right and the battery on the left, as well as the familiar shock towers. That makes us think that the rumored shared platform with Mercedes is not this platform… that this is simply an evolution of the existing and very well designed FM platform.
Note the video also references future engines will include a turbocharged 4 cylinder, as well as a diesel engine.
What wasn’t said? In Japan, the Infiniti G is sold as the Nissan Skyline. Will this new car be sold as an Infiniti in Japan, putting an end to the famous 50-year-old brand name “Skyline”, or will it continue to be sold as a Nissan Skyline?
All in all, mixed feelings… maybe because we feel protective of the brand being an owner ourselves. We’ll look forward to the first road tests in the late spring as the car approached it’s release this coming summer.
Infiniti Press Release follows:
2014 INFINITI Q50 AT A GLANCE
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 sports sedan brings distinctive design, engaging performance, world’s first technologies and unmatched levels of connectivity and personalization to the roads of North America when it goes on sale in summer 2013. The all-new Q50 is designed for a new generation of young, premium customers seeking Infiniti’s unique fusion of inspired performance and hospitality.
Taking many of its seductive styling cues from the Infiniti Essence concept, the Q50′s tight, athletic appearance blends low, wide proportions with excellent interior roominess to a class marked by unexciting design.
Inside, the Q50 interior offers a driver-centric cockpit with an array of premium comfort and convenience features. The new Infiniti InTouch™ communications system includes large dual touch-screen displays and puts communication with the outside world within easy reach, with integration of hands-free phone, moving map navigation, entertainment and smart phone apps in a way that is safe and easy-touse while driving.
Infiniti’s sports sedan performance leadership continues with the new Q50, which is available with a choice of a refined 328-horsepower (est.) 3.7-liter V6 or new Q50 Hybrid featuring Infiniti’s Direct Response Hybrid System™with Intelligent Dual Clutch Control. All models come equipped with a refined 7-speed automatic transmission with available solid magnesium paddle shifters. The Infiniti Drive Mode Selector with Snow, Eco, Standard, Sport and Custom settings is also standard on all models, part of the advanced customizable digital environment system that allows drivers to create unique settings for engine, transmission, handling and steering settings.
Two new world’s first production performance technologies make their debuts in the Q50 – Infiniti Direct Adaptive Steering™technology and Active Lane Control™. The new steering system allows advanced control of the Q50′s tire angle and steering inputs, transmitting the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. Four different steering settings are offered, allowing customization by driver preference or road conditions. The Active Lane Control™uses a camera-based lane marker detection system to further enhance on-center driving capability and improve vehicle straightability.
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 3.7-liter V6 and 3.5-liter Hybrid models will be available with a choice of rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive, and in a range of wellequipped models, including versions with special sport appearance and performance features with sport brakes and sport suspension tuning.
Highlights of the 2014 Infiniti Q50 include:
- Sensuous dynamic styling with unexpected spaciousness
- Low, wide proportions and tight, athletic stance
- Infiniti signature “double arch” front grille, dynamic arch silhouette and Crescent-cut C-pillar
- Distinctive LED head lamps and lighting (headlights, fog lights and marker lights), LED rear combination lamps
- Available Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) with High Beam Assist
- Available sport front fascia
- Available power sliding and tilting tinted glass sunroof with one-touch open/close and sliding sunshade
- Heated outside mirrors with integrated LED turn signals, available auto dimming outside mirrors with reverse synchronization mirror angle
- Body-color outside door handles with chrome accents
- Dual chrome exhaust finishers
- Eight available premium exterior colors
- Advanced aerodynamic design with 0.26 coefficient of drag and zero front and rear lift concept
- Front engine/rear-wheel drive or Intelligent All-Wheel Drive
- 3.7-liter aluminum-alloy DOHC 24-valve V6, rated at 328 horsepower (est.) and 269 lb-ft of torque (est.), featuring Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control (CVTCS) and Variable Valve Event & Lift (VVEL®)
- Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid™with intelligent dual clutch control, combining 3.5-liter 24-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy V6 and compact laminated lithiumion battery design with an innovative one-motor/two-clutch motor control; V6 rated at 296 horsepower (est.) and 255 lb-ft of torque (est.), advanced 50 kW electric motor rated at 67 horsepower (est.) and 199 lb-ft of torque (est.), Hybrid system net power: 354 horsepower (est.)
- 7-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with Downshift Rev Matching and manual shift mode, Adaptive Shift Control
- Available steering column-mounted magnesium paddle shifters
- Drive mode selector switch (Sport, Standard, ECO, Snow, Custom settings)
- 4-wheel independent multi-link suspension (front single pivot doublewishbone design/revised rear design) with extensive use of lightweight aluminum components and front and rear stabilizer bars
- Available sport-tuned suspension
- Power-assisted vehicle-speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering
- Available Direct Adaptive Steering™technology for enhanced steering feel and personalized selection of steering effort and gear ratio
- 4-wheel power-assisted vented disc brakes, 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake force Distribution, Brake Assist
- Available Sport Brakes with upgraded rotors, 4-piston front calipers and 2- piston rear calipers
- 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with machine-finished surface, 225/55R17 allseason run-flat tires
- Available 19-inch aluminum-alloy sport wheels with 245/40R19 all-season or summer run-flat tires
- Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Control with Active Trace Control for dynamic cornering ability
- Active Lane Control™(utilizing world’s first Direct Adaptive Steering technology)
- Tire-specific Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Driver-oriented layout and a console with warm, asymmetric design
- Ample knee, head and shoulder roominess
- Easy rear ingress/egress provided by wide rear door openings
- Natural contour ergonomic-design front seats for enhanced comfort
- Premium leatherette seating surfaces with embroidered Infiniti logo
- Available leather-appointed seating
- 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with manual lumbar support, 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat
- 60/40 split rear seat, rear center armrest with trunk pass-through
- Available sport-type leather-appointed seats, manual thigh extensions (driver and front passenger)
- Available power torso bolsters (driver’s side)
- Available heated front seats and heated steering wheel
- Fine Vision electroluminescent instrumentation
- Kacchu aluminum interior trim on center console, instrument panel and doors
- Available Fukiurushi maple wood trim
- Available aluminum-accented pedals (standard on sports grades)
- Next-generation Studio on Wheels by Bose®audio system with instrument panel three-speaker array (up to 14 total speakers), Advanced Staging Technology®
- Voice Recognition for audio, navigation, SMS
- Dual-Zone Automatic Temperature Control
- Available advanced Climate Control System (ACCS) with Plasmacluster®air purifier
- Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition, touch unlock door function
- Customizable digital environment for storing and providing various driver settings and driving characteristics to i-Key
- Power front and rear windows with illuminated switches and one-touch auto up/down feature
- Rear passenger personal lamps
- RearView Monitor
- Around View®Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD)
- HEV sound management technologies, including available Active Noise Control (ANC)
- Infiniti InTouch™next-generation Human Machine Interface (HMI) with dual touchscreen displays and smart phone connectivity
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), High Definition (HD) radio
- Available navigation system with NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic Information and NavWeather with Real-Time Weather and 5-day forecast (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately)
- Infiniti Connection™with Automatic Collision Notification, Destination Assistance and Drive Zone Monitoring
- Bluetooth®Hands-free Phone System and Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®
- Voice Recognition for audio, navigation, SMS
- Fully customizable digital environment for storing and providing various driver settings and driving characteristics to i-Key
Safety Shield Technologies
- Infiniti Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) with dual-stage supplemental front air bags with seat belt sensors and occupant classification sensor
- Front seat-mounted side impact supplemental air bags
- Roof-mounted curtain side impact supplemental air bags for front- and rearseat outboard occupant head protection
- Available front seat driver/passenger Pre-Crash Seat Belts
- Available Safety Shield Technologies with Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with full speed range, predictive Forward Collision Warning, Forward Emergency Braking, Distance Control Assist, Blind Spot Intervention®, Back-up Collision Intervention, Lane Departure Prevention and Active Lane Control™(utilizing world’s first production Direct Active Steering technology)
- Traction control system (integrated with Vehicle Dynamic Control)
- High Beam Assist
- Available in a range of premium and sport rear-wheel and all-wheel drive models
- Initially offered with choice of 3.7-liter V6 or 3.5-liter Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid™, each with 7-speed automatic transmission
- Other powertrains to be added as part of global market launch rollout
- On sale in the United States and Canada in summer 2013
- Sales in other major global markets begin in summer 2013
No doubt about it, Infiniti got it’s fan base mad when they changed the names of all the existing car and SUVs to begin with “Q”. Now, in addition to last week’s bone to owners about where the brand is going (and revealing the existence of a new optional 550HP engine!), Infiniti has released a teaser video about the new Q50 (aka the replacement for the G37).
Turn up your sound – you aren’t going to believe how good this car sounds.
Infiniti Press Release below:
Infiniti Releases All-New Q50 Teaser Video Upon Reaching 1 Million Facebook Fans
Video Leads Up to Debut of the Q50 at the North American International Auto Show January 14
Nashville – Infiniti reached one million Facebook fans today and as a thank you to its loyal fan-base, released a first glimpse of the Infiniti Q50 – the all-new luxury sports sedan to be released January 14, at the brand’s North American International Auto Show press conference, following a special performance by Cirque du Soleil.
Infiniti will host a live webcast of the event at InfinitiUSA.com and on the brand’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/Infiniti. As a component of the reveal on Facebook, fans may also ask questions about the Q50 via an interactive text chat.
Today’s announcement comes as the luxury brand undergoes a new era of inspiration, growing its global business with a number of strategic changes in 2012, including relocating its global headquarters to Hong Kong. The move in May was followed by the appointment in July of Johan de Nysschen as the brand’s first president.
About Infiniti Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles that inspire at every turn, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, Infiniti M sedan, EX and FX crossovers, the QX full-size luxury SUV, and the all-new JX 7-passenger luxury crossover. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at www.infinitiusa.com.
Johan de Nysschen has responded to sometimes severe criticism by Infiniti owners and fans of the new Infiniti naming convention, where every product name begins with Q, instead of the existing G, M, FX, etc.
This is a very interesting press release, directly addressing the criticism in the press and forums – and almost word for word.
But, even better, look at what slipped out in #2 below (our highlights in red). There will be a 550-horsepower forced induction 3 liter V6 engine coming for Infiniti!
Infiniti Press Release follows:
A Message from Johan de Nysschen to Infiniti Owners and Fans
Dear Infiniti fans: We love you dearly. And we know you love the brand. Which means it’s only natural that you may feel surprised by the announcement that we plan to change our nomenclature philosophy. No one likes change.
It was a tough decision. We like our current model names as much as you do. But we had no choice but to change. Let me explain.
1. We are embarking on a massive product offensive, and these new cars need names. There are no suitable combinations of Alphanumeric naming options remaining that are not already trademarked by another automaker. In order to expand our line up with the fascinating new models we are developing, we must create a more flexible nomenclature philosophy.
2. Our new advanced technology engines under development will be smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient yet more powerful. And we will introduce some exhilarating performance machines in the future. I’m sure you will agree, it would be a bit odd to have a powerful, luxurious and refined V8 powered Infiniti M56, then position a new high-tech 550+ horsepower performance flagship for the Infiniti M range above it, using a potent charged induction V6, but then call it Infiniti M30, which we would be obliged to do, following our current naming logic.
3. Infiniti is becoming a global brand now. We are already active in almost 50 countries, the majority only very recently. Our new customers are unfamiliar with the brand and struggle to understand our range hierarchy. Is a JX above or below an FX? Where does an EX fit? What is the relationship between G and Infiniti M? Research confirms the majority of newcomers to our brand consider the naming to be somewhat arbitrary and confusing.
4. Infiniti owns the naming assets of Q plus double digit, and QX plus double digit. And it is a permanent part of our heritage.
So the solution is pretty straightforward – use Q for cars, QX for crossovers, and double digits in increments of ten, to denote hierarchy, linked to the price point of the model, not size and not engine displacement. And no, we wont call all-wheel drive models Q50X or QX50X. The fact that a model may feature four-wheel drive will be indicated by specific badging describing this feature on the car and is not part of the model name.
The really exciting implication of all this is that it prepares the way for the introduction of several fascinating new models above and below the current line up, and a wider range of powertrains including some truly stunning performance cars in our future.
So there is only good news for all Infiniti fans around the globe. We are working very hard to bring you great products, a great brand and a compelling ownership experience. And we are really confident you will love the new Q50. It’s simply that good.
Johan de Nysschen President Infiniti Motor Company Limited
In a strange move just announced this afternoon, Infiniti renamed all of it’s existing and upcoming cars and SUVs. The Infiniti G is dead, long live the Infiniti Q50 and Q60…
Completely bizarre… but at least we have confirmation at last that the new Infiniti G, er, Q60, will be shown at the Detroit show in January,
Infiniti Press Release follows:
Infiniti Announces New Naming Strategy
- Infiniti models from the 2014 model year to carry Q or QX prefix
- New nomenclature symbolizes new brand direction and the commitment to Infiniti under the leadership of Johan de Nysschen
- The use of Q & QX captures the inspiration within the next generation of Infiniti models, while relating back to Infiniti’s roots of the Q45
- New premium sports sedan to launch at the North American International Auto Show in January will be first Infiniti to carry new Q badge
HONG KONG - Marking another significant step in its plan to further expand its presence in the premium automotive sector, Infiniti today announced details of a new nomenclature strategy to be applied to its complete product range beginning with the 2014 model year. The first model to carry Infiniti’s new Q badge will be the Q50, an all-new premium sports sedan to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January 2013.
The premium automotive brand will see its model range simply prefixed either by Q – for sedans, coupes and convertibles, or QX, for crossover and SUV models. Each model will be further identified by a double digit representing hierarchy within the range.
This strategic change reflects Infiniti’s desire for clarity and cohesiveness as it embarks on ambitious growth plans, including significant expansion of the Infiniti portfolio.
Commenting on the revised naming philosophy, Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited, said: “Over the past few months, we have talked at length with our retailers, our customers, and our business partners about our brand. The need for a new identity and direction to promote consumer familiarity with our model range as we expand the portfolio became evident. To achieve this, we clearly needed a simple and consistent nomenclature framework. After exhaustive research and evaluation, we concluded that ‘Q’ captured the inspiration within the next generation of Infiniti models, as well as emphasizing our performance credentials while harking back to our heritage with the Q45 – Infiniti’s first iconic flagship product in 1989.”
Infiniti’s new nomenclature strategy will be implemented in logical stages within the existing product range, as 2014 model year variants are introduced. The brand’s future plans include a range of next-generation Infiniti models that will carry Q and QX badging from the outset.
About Infiniti: Infiniti, the premium automotive brand, reflects its brand promise “Inspired Performance” with a model line-up of sedans, coupes, SUVs and crossovers featuring exhilarating performance, emotive design and cutting edge technology. Infiniti continues to launch across the globe through a dedicated network of Infiniti Centers that share a commitment to exceptional hospitality throughout the entire period of ownership.
Infiniti was launched in 1989 in the United States. Infiniti’s global footprint expanded into Canada in 1990, Taiwan in 1997, the Middle East in 2004, Korea in 2005 and Russia in 2006. Global expansion continued in 2007 with Infiniti Centres opening in the Ukraine and in one of the world’s fastest growing luxury automotive markets, China. In 2008 Infiniti launched in Western and Central Europe, which has added 19 additional markets. Infiniti is sold globally in 47 markets to-date.
Since May 2012, Infiniti Motor Company Ltd.’s new global headquarters is situated in Hong Kong, headed by Johan de Nysschen as President of Infiniti on 1 July.
# # #
Or at least at this early point it is believed to be the new G. Some details are already known, including the unique steering system. And recent spy pictures have shown the complete G in both regular and sport trim being tested on the roads of Germany and at The Nurburgring.
If this is indeed a production model, and not a concept, then Infiniti is breaking its own tradition of showing a concept car before the production car. The 2006 Infiniti Coupe concept previewed the 2007 Infiniti G Coupe at the 2006 NAIAS. But the current Infiniti G is old and dated – a new one is very much-needed by Infiniti dealers to better complete against an active and growing field of competitors, including the very able Cadillac ATS.
Infiniti Press Release follows:
Infiniti to Debut All-New Model at 2013 North American International Auto Show
Press Conference Will Feature ‘Inspired’ Performance by Cirque Du Soleil® Simulcast Online
Los Angeles – Infiniti announced today it will unveil an all-new luxury sports sedan, January 14, at the brand’s North American International Auto Show press conference, following a special performance by Cirque du Soleil.
Today’s announcement comes as the luxury brand undergoes a new era of inspiration, growing its market share with the strategic expansion of its business worldwide under the helm of new leadership, Infiniti’s president Johan de Nysschen.
In addition to the January 14 unveiling, de Nysschen will present his vision for the brand in a speech that outlines a new direction for Infiniti in the years to come.
Infiniti made a number of strategic changes in 2012, including relocating its global headquarters to a new state-of-the-art facility in Hong Kong. The move in May was followed by the appointment in July of de Nysschen as the brand’s new president.
Since then, Infiniti has recorded U.S. sales increases year-over-year of 20.6 percent through October, pointing to a strong finish for 2012 and an even stronger start to 2013.
Infiniti offers a full-line of luxury performance automobiles that inspire at every turn, including the G Coupe, Sedan and Convertible, Infiniti M sedan, EX and FX crossovers, the QX full-size luxury SUV, and the all-new JX 7-passenger luxury crossover. More information about Infiniti and its Total Ownership Experience® can be found at http://www.infinitiusa.com/.
As part of a coordinated set of technology announcements on the 17th of October, Nissan announced a next-generation steering system and provided the first image and video of it. It will be on sale within quote “a year in an Infiniti”… which interestingly matches the likely delivery date of the next Infiniti G. Widely circulated spy pictures have shown a prototype G sedan of approximately the same size as the current G, although with an M-type front grill and rear tail lights (including a similar double hood over the instruments inside). A sport model has even been seen, wearing the same Akebono brakes as the current sport models. A coupe and performance models will follow after the initial introduction.
Setting aside the technology questions for a moment, could this announcement be a clue as to the upcoming new Infiniti G? And also to future users of the updated FM platform underneath the new G? Currently, the M, EX, FX, and Nissan Z share this same platform. If we assume that the next Z will again use the same platform, then this technology is also a possibility for it (although it may be too expensive for a Z). Any Z speculation is just that at this early point: a Z is likely 2 years away from the introduction of the G.
The image shows an aluminum front crossmember, aluminum L-shape lower control arm, and big sport brakes with fat tires. This would be consistent with a G. Our conclusion: the image shows the system in the new G. The video further supports that conclusion with Infiniti G-type wheels and current G steering wheel with Infiniti logo in a 4-door sedan outline.
Then there is the technology itself to consider… the implications for performance enthusiasts are fascinating. The potential here is for immediate (capital letters and exclamation point) steering response. The video also shows how compensation for road surface irregularities and side winds (and probably road crown) will be provided. “Feel” can be built in to electronic steering systems, as manufacturers such as Ford and Porsche have done so well in current products. Finally, there is the question of failover, which is provided for by three redundant computers and a clutch which in an emergency can mechanically link the steering to the steering rack, presumably as the car is brought to an immediate halt.
Nissan Press Release follows:
Nissan Pioneers First-Ever*1 Independent Control Steering Technology; To Be On Sale Within a Year
- Delivers responsive performance by controlling tire and steering angles inputs independently-
YOKOHAMA, Japan (October 17, 2012) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the world’s first steering technology that allows independent control of a vehicle’s tire angle and steering inputs. This next-generation steering technology was developed by Nissan.
A conventional steering system directs tire movements by transmitting steering inputs to the tires via a mechanical link. Nissan’s next-generation steering technology reads the driver’s intentions from steering inputs and controls the vehicle’s tire movements via electronic signals. This transmits the driver’s intentions to the wheels even faster than a mechanical system and increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver.
The system controls and insulates the vehicle from unnecessary road-generated disturbances to deliver only the necessary performance feel to the driver. For example, even on a road surface with minor ridges or furrows, the driver no longer has to grip the steering wheel tightly and make detailed adjustments, so traveling on the intended path becomes easier. Accompanying this next-generation steering technology, Nissan has also developed a camera-based straight-line stability system to further enhance on-center driving capability. This system is a world-first*2 technology that improves vehicle stability by making small input angle adjustments so the vehicle will accurately trace and continue as planned in the lane it is traveling. If the vehicle direction changes due to road surface or crosswinds, the system acts to minimize the effect of these conditions resulting in reduced steering input from the driver.
Using a camera mounted above the vehicle’s rearview mirror, the system analyzes the road ahead, recognizes the lane direction, detects changes in the vehicle’s direction, and transmits this information to multiple electronic control units as electronic signals. If a discrepancy occurs, the system acts to reduce the discrepancy by controlling the opposing force to the tire angle. By reducing the frequency of detailed steering input adjustments, which are a cause of fatigue on long drives, the driver’s workload is greatly reduced.
This next-generation steering technology’s high reliability is achieved by multiple ECUs. In the event a single ECU malfunctions, another ECU will instantly take control, and in extreme circumstances such as the power supply being disrupted, the backup clutch will act to connect the steering wheel and wheels mechanically, ensuring continued safe travel.
This technology will be equipped on select Infiniti models on sale within one year to provide “Driving as Intended” and “Driving with Peace of Mind” for owners.
*1: World-first development of an independent control steering technology that controls tire and steering angles inputs independently.
*2: World-first development of an accurate tracing technology that enables a driver to continue driving as planned in the lane with small steering angle adjustments (depending on road conditions).
According to an article in Autocar (29 Aug 2012), the 2014 Infiniti G will quote “debut” at the Geneva show in March 2013. And, Shiro Nakamura (Infiniti design chief) says the new G will be “much sportier and more dynamic than the current car”.
We do have to question exactly what will supposedly debut in Geneva, since Infiniti has traditionally shown a concept car first, before production. In 2006 for example, Infiniti presented the G coupe concept. Then a few months later we got to see the production product in the New York show. So it’s possible that Infiniti will present a concept in Geneva, and then the production G in New York in April. Bu the car is labeled as a 2014, so it likely won’t show up in dealers until the fall of 2013 – a year from now at a minimum.
Hmmm… a few months ago we provided our own predictions for the next G, as well as the rest of the Infiniti lineup. We weren’t all wrong, but we weren’t all right either. One of our main questions, concerning the future Z and Skyline GT370, remains unanswered. Will the Infiniti brand be brought to Japan for the first time, replacing the GT370 with the Infiniti G? For those of you not familiar with the GT370, it’s an exact clone of the G with Nissan badges, for the home market (and any others who do not have Infiniti yet). Or, more accurately the G is an exact clone of the Nissan GT370.
Then there is the Z, which at last report was uncertain which platform would be used for its next generation. Currently, the G and the Z share a platform (known internally as “FM” – for its front mid engine placement), reducing development costs but perhaps leaving the Z a little heavier than it needs to be. If the next G will be “much sportier and more dynamic than the current car”, then the Z would benefit as well by sharing this new platform. But the biggest problem with the Z is that it has to decide what it is going to be. Right now, it is little more than a 2-seat version of the G coupe. It has a couple of interesting braces around the rear suspension, but that suspension, the front suspension, all the hard points, and all the rest of the hardware is the same. Will Nissan continue down this path (which opens the door to share a 4 cylinder engine with the G), or will it use an all-new chassis more akin to the Toyota 86, which some in the general blogosphere are ready to believe.
And there is also the question of the next GT-R, which the blogosphere had an unwarranted heart attack over in August. That was ridiculous… since the GT-R shares the FM platform along with the G et al (albeit with a some very expensive changes), the next GT-R will follow. It may take a year or two to get the next GT-R to market after the new platform debuts under the Z; that’s how a limited production car works.
The problem with this hobby is waiting… we have to wait months or years to see upcoming models once the first hints start to appear. Although hopefully we’ll see some further production mules and prototypes for this car over the winter months. Meanwhile, we have our own personal G to enjoy: which thanks to Stillen and the resulting 500 horsepower, means no waiting – ever.