Infiniti is chalking out an ambitious plan that sees the brand add an all-electric, hybrid or range extender variant to each of its models. Beginning in 2021, all Infiniti models will start receiving the electric treatment.
The current decade is coming to a close and major global manufacturers like BMW, Jaguar, Honda, already have comprehensive electrification plans in place. VW group is pushing electrification within its product lineup as well as through its many subsidiaries. Amidst all this, Infiniti realised that it needs to update its entire range of cars to offer electric powertrains or at least piggyback motors that work in tandem with the IC prime mover. And indeed, it has a plan in place.
Unveiled in January 2018, Infiniti did not divulge too many details of the electrification roadmap, but Hiroto Saikawa, CEO Nissan Motor Co. announced that all new Infiniti models launched after 2021 will be either all-electric battery-powered or will come with Infiniti’s proprietary e-Power technology. e-Power is basically a range extender system in which an electric motor handles propulsion of the car and an IC engine acts as a generator to charge the onboard batteries.
Infiniti intentionally omitted to mention whether its range-topping bestseller, the gargantuan QX80 will benefit from electrification. The QX80 is the company’s sole full-size ladder-frame SUV and has been posting healthy sales ever since its entry into the market. The roadmap will help Infiniti stand on par with its global competitors. Saikawa also said he expects electric models to deliver half of Infiniti’s sales by the year 2025.
However, it’s not all rosy sunshine for Nissan’s luxury automobile division as the roadmap arrives at a time when most of the company’s products face an uncertain future. Infiniti dropped the QX70 from its lineup for the 2018 model year as it reconsiders what kind of product would better occupy the QX70’s position. The Q50 hybrid sedan was also axed from the lineup. There were also recent press reports that the company has also shelved the development of a new car in partnership with Daimler. Infiniti did not confirm the reports, which did not specify what segment the product was supposed to play in.
So much for the existing Infiniti products. However, some of the company’s models that are due for a refresh or redesign are being eagerly expected. These include the refreshed QX80 that started arriving in dealerships in December 2017, redesigned QX50 compact crossover for 2019 model year, and a redesigned Q70 luxury saloon that will make its way to dealers sometime in late 2019. Further down the timeline, Infiniti’s cash cow sedan, the Q50 will end its eight-year product cycle in 2021, during which it will receive a major redesign or perhaps spawn a new generation, making it one of the first contenders in the electrification drive. The two-door Q60 was refreshed back in 2017 and will be comprehensively redesigned in 2020.