Infiniti – what does it mean for us?
The news of Infiniti coming to South Africa spread like wildfire. It caused more excitement amongst the performance petrol heads than in quite some time, and for good reason.
A little bit about Infiniti
While Infiniti sales officially started on November 8, 1989 in America, plans for Infiniti took root in 1985 with the creation of a top secret “Horizon Task Force” – a group formed within Nissan with a view towards creating a new performance luxury brand.
The Japanese luxury brand is already available in the UK – also a right hand drive market – Indonesia, Panama, Malaysia and Singapore, and launches in Chile and Australia this year as well.
Infiniti in South Africa
Nissan SA Managing Director Mike Whitfield: “We are thrilled to be bringing Infiniti to South Africa” says Whitfield, “and we are confident that it will be as successful here as it is in many other regions around the world.”
They hit SA shores, or rather roads, from June this year. Besides for the SUV and Crossover listed below, they’ll also be launching their M-sedan and G Coupe and Cabriolet.
It’s going to take a long time to build their dealership network, but according to the company, they’re up for it. Dealerships, placed alongside – but completely separate from – Nissan dealerships, will be spread out nation wide.
The first dealerships will open in Hatfield and Melrose Arch. Durban and Cape Town will join the list towards the end of the year.
They’re also bringing Infiniti Financial Services along.
Why do we care?
What does all of this mean for us in the adventure motoring business? Well, Infiniti are indeed bringing a crossover or two down, and while it’s not quite 4×4, it’s interesting enough to get our attention.
Here’s an overview of what we’ll see in our roads in the near future:
The Infiniti EX
Type: Compact Crossover – with a sports coupe twist
Competition: BMW X3
Meet the G37’s V6 engine – producing 235kW
Claims of 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds
Claims of a top speed of 240km/h
The Infiniti FX
Type: Large Crossover
Competition: Q5 to Q7, X5, Porsche Cayenne, Merc ML
Specs (released so far):
Overseas, there’s a 5,0 litre V8 (with 290kW) available at top of range. There’s alos a 175kW diesel and 235kW V6 (as in the EX)
Permanent all-wheel drive