An entry-level Infiniti crossover wearing QX30 badges may soon slot below the EX in the automaker's lineup of SUVs. Thanks to the partnership between Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz, we hear the front-drive-based vehicle will be built on the Mercedes MFA platform that underpins the CLA-Class four-door and upcoming GLA-Class crossover.
Infiniti Etherea concept
The Infiniti's sheetmetal will be all-new, resembling the brand's Etherea concept (pictured at right). This means a relatively high car, with a hatchback. Indeed, the Mercedes-based Infiniti is almost as high as a crossover, and we hear it may wear the QX30 badge. Total production of the QX30, out of Nissan's Sunderland plant in the U.K., is projected at 60,000 units a year and, yes, the potential Q3 and GLA competitor will probably come to the U.S.
Offering the Mercedes-based compact as a small crossover may allow Infiniti to charge a greater premium than would be possible with a premium entry-level sedan like the Buick Verano, Acura ILX, or upcoming Audi A3. The Mercedes CLA's turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 is likely to be part of the package, and just as Infiniti has tweaked Mercedes' 2.1-liter turbodiesel for use in the European-spec Q50, don't be surprised to see minor tweaks made to the QX30's powerplant, as well.
Also in the compact arena, Infiniti still intends to produce a full EV, using the Nissan Leaf's platform. Previewed by the LE concept, Infiniti chief Andy Palmer said the production car is being delayed because its headline technology will be inductive charging. This means owners won't need to mess around with a dirty charge cable. They merely park over a contact-free charging pad and it all happens automatically.
"The technology works but there's no global homologation. We're hoping for a global open-architecture standard, and we're working with Daimler and Renault for that."
Should Infiniti make a QX30 small crossover from Mercedes' MFA platform? Tell us what you think in the comments below.