anybody see this article? coming from a G35, this is pretty cool. when i was at g35driver, we always talked about how sick it would be to drop the gt-r engine into a sedan variant.
Here's more of what we learned from the industry insider:
Q. We hear that design has been finalized for the next G. Can you confirm that?
A. The next G is slated to go on sale by the end of summer of 2014. Starting with sales in Japan and the U.S., the vehicle will be gradually introduced to over 70 countries worldwide. Design for the next G was finalized in June of last year, as we need a completed body in order to design the platform, which will be shared with the next Mercedes C-Class. But actually, the C-Class was already well underway, so I should just say that we are adapting it for our needs. To make everything go smoothly, we had German experts from Mercedes passing through our doors constantly over the last year.
Q. What direction will the new model take?
A. It's a two-pronged approach of performance and luxury that won't inherit anything from the current model. You could say that the new G's front end closely resembles that of the Etherea concept car, especially the headlight treatment. It has a very bold, muscular stance, and even when it's just sitting there, you can tell that it has a significant amount of grunt. Compared to the next-gen C-Class, it wheelbase has been lengthened by 2 inches, giving the car around the same interior space as the current car.
Q. And what of the rumors that the new model will be smaller than the current car?
A. While the overall length and width will remain the same, the new G will have a lower roofline in the style of a four-door coupe. No matter what angle you look at the car, I must say that it looks leaner and meaner all-round but more stylish too. And of course it handles far better than the outgoing model while exuding more luxury than ever before.
Q. What body types can we expect?
A. The same as we have now - a sedan and a coupe. And we are also evaluating a crossover like an EX. The coupe will come one year after the sedan, in 2015.
Q. Have the powertrains been finalized?
A. Yes, these were decided last year, in addition to where they'll be manufactured and which models they'll go into. Because of course we are talking about Mercedes models as well.
Q. Another source was suggesting that both platforms and engines will be built by Mercedes. Is this true?
A. No. While one or two models will employ Mercedes technology, our main powertrain will be a Nissan developed direct injection engine based on the current VQ series engine block, but with a totally redesigned head unit. We will only use a four-cylinder diesel from Mercedes.
Q. What capacity is that diesel?
A. It's a 2.1-liter, identical in design to the current C220 CDI and S250 CDI. But to further reduce emissions, we will employ a new clean diesel catalyzer developed in-house. It will generate more than 200 hp and deliver torque of 50 KG/m (around 360 lb-ft). This engine will power the Infiniti M destined for markets in Europe and Korea by the end of this year. But we have made no decision on its potential incorporation into the U.S. or Japanese markets, as their demand for diesels is very low.
Q. And what about hybrids?
A. Given what you've seen in the past, it's a forgone conclusion that we will offer a hybrid model powered by 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid VQ35HR series [a version powers the present G Hybrid]. But the battery pack will be smaller and deliver more power.
Q. So that means we can expect to see three different powertrains altogether -- V-6, four-cylinder diesel and hybrid for the new G. And where will these be built?
A. The V-6 will be built our Iwaki plant in Japan and also in Tennessee. And for the time being, the hybrid will be built in Japan.
Q. Last June, Mr. Ghosn mentioned that the next-gen Infiniti models would be built overseas, even the Japan-spec Skylines. Is that so?
A. Yes, the quality and expertise of American and European plants has come the full circle so we can now produce engines just about anywhere. One other main reason is cost. The yen is still far too strong to build in Japan. We can't build engines in Japan and ship them to the U.S. as it is not good business. In fact, we see a time in the very near future where over 90 percent of all models sold in the U.S. will be built in the U.S. And with the way the yen is, it will generate more profit to import U.S.-made cars into Japan, rather than building them here.
Q. And what about China? You are building a plant in Dalian, right?
A. Yes, that plant will go online in 2014, and will build Infiniti models and Skylines (for the Chinese market) there too. But the Skylines for Japan will be built in the U.S. It is no coincidence that Infiniti's world HQ was moved from Yokohama to Hong Kong last year. This is a sign that the Chinese market and our plants there will take on a far more critical meaning in the near future.
Q. What plants take priority in the U.S.?
A. The Smyrna plant. The Infiniti JX is built there and there is a good reason for that. It is the only plant of ours in the U.S. which can maintain our extremely high quality levels needed to produce Infiniti vehicles. We are also in the process of retooling and fitting out Smyrna for EVs, as it has been designated as our specialized plant to build Infiniti's first EV from 2014.
Q. And what about that high performance model you mentioned?
A. I thought you might ask about that. We have an all-new engine in the pipeline that will only be built in Japan, as it requires specialized production methods only available here. It is a totally new 3.7-liter direct injection, twin-turbocharged V-6 that is being built for our new IPL (Infiniti Performance Line) range of high-performance vehicles. Targeting the likes of the C63 AMG and M3, it will generate upwards of 530 hp.
Q. Finally some real performance from Infiniti. And where will it be built?
A. It'll only be built at the same plant as the Nissan GT-R, our Tochigi plant. I think our marketing types want to create a special high performance "Tochigi brand," as this will be the only place where the GT-R and IPL engines are basically hand-made. Tochigi will come to mean "a unique brand of Japan-made performance, luxury and quality."
Q. What about pricing? Won't this IPL be expensive?
A. The 530-hp IPL-spec G will probably be priced at around the same price as the GT-R if not a fraction more. Given that the basic C63 AMG costs (in Japan) around 10 million yen, that is where the IPL will be priced, I feel.
Q. And finally, any more surprises?
A. One more. Remember the Infiniti Etherea hatchback concept from Geneva? Its styling might be toned down a little for the production model, and it will employ Mercedes MFA (Mercedes Front-drive Architecture), but you can expect to find it powered by a Nissan-built 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, supercharged hybrid. That's the QR25DER series engine and is the only powerplant being considered for that car at the moment, a vehicle that will be built in Austria by Magna Steyr.
Read more: http://www.motortrend.com/future/fut...#ixzz21kMqJGEY