Infiniti Q30 could add hybrid hot-hatch

Infiniti Q30 could add hybrid hot-hatch

INFINITI is considering a petrol-electric version of the Q30 it unveiled last month at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, as part of an expansion of its performance range.

The Q30 is based on the Mercedes-Benz MFA small car architecture that underpins cars such as the Mercedes A-Class, CLA and GLA. It will originally be offered with a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, but Infiniti president Roland Krueger said there was potential for more.

“As a premium brand we also offer performance cars,” Krueger said when asked about a Q30 with more performance than the Mercedes-sourced 2.0-litre engine that produces 155kW.

“Something we’ll emphasise a bit more in the future is we have performance hybrids.”

Infiniti -q 30-rearBut Krueger ruled out the Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo, which produces 280kW, instead saying Infiniti would tune its own high performance drivetrains.

“If we would do any kind of performance version it would be developed by our engineers,” he said.

Infiniti is also planning more models based on the Q30, including a higher riding QX30 crossover.

Despite sluggish sales, Krueger said Infiniti was committed to the Australian market, where it has hopes of tapping into the established luxury class dominated by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.

In the first eight months of 2015 Infiniti sold just 358 cars, about one-eighth the number sold by sports car specialist Porsche – and a fraction of the 15,000-plus tallies of the luxury market leaders.

Krueger said he had just signed off on a “network expansion” on top of the three Infiniti dealers currently in Australia.

Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.

Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!