Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX in transmission safety probe

Filed under: Budget, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Infiniti, Nissan, Luxury

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

2013 Infiniti JX35Nissan may be forced to recall 110,000 Pathfinder and Infiniti JX35 crossovers, due to a number of customer complaints. Consumers report suddenly losing power, with repair facilities blaming the issue on faulty transmission cooler line connections. Both the Pathfinder and JX35 use a continuously variable transmission. As of right now, the only vehicles being investigated are from model year 2013.

Nissan has been cooperating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a report from Reuters, and it has developed a fix for the affected vehicles. It’s not clear whether this will develop into a full-blown recall, as there have been no known cases of injuries or crashes. But with a potential 110,000 vehicles prone to sudden power loss, a recall seems to be a likely outcome.

Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX in transmission safety probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX in transmission safety probe

Filed under: Budget, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Infiniti, Nissan, Luxury

2013 Nissan Pathfinder

2013 Infiniti JX35Nissan may be forced to recall 110,000 Pathfinder and Infiniti JX35 crossovers, due to a number of customer complaints. Consumers report suddenly losing power, with repair facilities blaming the issue on faulty transmission cooler line connections. Both the Pathfinder and JX35 use a continuously variable transmission. As of right now, the only vehicles being investigated are from model year 2013.

Nissan has been cooperating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a report from Reuters, and it has developed a fix for the affected vehicles. It’s not clear whether this will develop into a full-blown recall, as there have been no known cases of injuries or crashes. But with a potential 110,000 vehicles prone to sudden power loss, a recall seems to be a likely outcome.

Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX in transmission safety probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Next Infiniti FX to gain interior volume

Filed under: Performance, Crossover, Infiniti, Luxury

2013 Infiniti FX37 front three-quarter

The Infiniti FX, soon to be renamed QX70 thanks to the Japanese brand’s convoluted naming scheme, is currently in the midst of its second-generation. And while we like the compact, sporty crossover’s driving character a lot, it lacks the “utility” part of the CUV moniker. That lack of cabin space will be addressed in the future, though.

Automotive News recently sat down with Nissan’s global design boss, Shiro Nakamura, to talk about the future of what he called “the icon of Infiniti.” And while Nakamura-san admitted the FX/QX70’s worth to the brand, its sales have long been something of a disappointment. “Exterior and styling-wise, it’s very strong as an icon. But to be honest, its sales volume has not been as big as we wanted,” a reality Nakamura believes is due largely to its tight cabin relative to its competition.

Finding the right balance might be difficult, though. The FX/QX70 is selling extremely well in both China and Russia, according to Nakamura, because of its looks. Altering that style in order to increase interior space risks alienating a new and important group of buyers for Infiniti. The designer put it best when he told AN, ” It is selling well in China and Russia because it stands out. So we want to maintain that striking look.” As it stands, we’ll likely be living with the current vehicle for a few more years – AN doesn’t expect the third-generation of the FX/QX70 to arrive until 2015 or 2016.

Next Infiniti FX to gain interior volume originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Next Infiniti FX to gain interior volume

Filed under: Performance, Crossover, Infiniti, Luxury

2013 Infiniti FX37 front three-quarter

The Infiniti FX, soon to be renamed QX70 thanks to the Japanese brand’s convoluted naming scheme, is currently in the midst of its second-generation. And while we like the compact, sporty crossover’s driving character a lot, it lacks the “utility” part of the CUV moniker. That lack of cabin space will be addressed in the future, though.

Automotive News recently sat down with Nissan’s global design boss, Shiro Nakamura, to talk about the future of what he called “the icon of Infiniti.” And while Nakamura-san admitted the FX/QX70’s worth to the brand, its sales have long been something of a disappointment. “Exterior and styling-wise, it’s very strong as an icon. But to be honest, its sales volume has not been as big as we wanted,” a reality Nakamura believes is due largely to its tight cabin relative to its competition.

Finding the right balance might be difficult, though. The FX/QX70 is selling extremely well in both China and Russia, according to Nakamura, because of its looks. Altering that style in order to increase interior space risks alienating a new and important group of buyers for Infiniti. The designer put it best when he told AN, ” It is selling well in China and Russia because it stands out. So we want to maintain that striking look.” As it stands, we’ll likely be living with the current vehicle for a few more years – AN doesn’t expect the third-generation of the FX/QX70 to arrive until 2015 or 2016.

Next Infiniti FX to gain interior volume originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 Sep 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Coupe, Crossover, Hatchback, Infiniti, Luxury

Infiniti Q30 Concept

Behold, the Q30 Concept. Slated for a worldwide debut in Germany next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, this concept previews a new entry-level premium compact that Infiniti hopes will attract younger buyers to the brand, as well as give it a competitor in a burgeoning new class that’s quickly filling up with options.

What will set the Q30 apart? Aside from a bold and aggressive design that picks up where the new Q50 and many concepts have left off, Infiniti says the shape combines elements from three bodystyles, all of which appeal to the sort of buyer it’s hoping snare. Can you guess which three? No peeking at the press release down below. Give yourself ten arbitrary points if your answer was coupe, crossover and hatchback.

Infiniti promises a ride height that will be high enough to earn crossover credentials, and we’re guessing it’s got an actual hatch back there, which leaves the coupe. Where’s the coupe in the Q30’s design? The influence of a two-door is a little more difficult to see with the naked eye, but what the Q30 shares with some four-door coupes on the market is a roofline that peaks and begins to slope back down before the B-pillar and rear set of doors.

There’s no information available yet on what powers the Q30 Concept, and hence even less about what will power the production version, but we expect to learn more more in the coming weeks leading up to this triple threat’s reveal in Frankfurt.

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Infiniti releases first image of premium compact Q30 Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 01:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quick Spin: Infiniti Emerg-E Concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Hybrid, Infiniti, Quick Spins

The Infiniti Emerg-E is a two-place hybrid gasoline-electric concept that made its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. While its sleek shape and stunning styling dropped jaws, those on the green side of things immediately recognized it as a reskinned and updated Lotus 414E – itself a concept based on the Evora that debuted at the same show only two years earlier. Yet there is little wrong with a reworked, Infiniti-badged Lotus boasting 402 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, especially when it features a lightweight, all-aluminum bonded chassis beneath an attractive carbon fiber skin penned by the automaker’s Southern California design team.

The hybrid powertrain is all contained aft of the cockpit. Primary propulsion is accomplished with two electric motors, one on each rear wheel, both featuring its own single-speed transmission (this design eliminates the need for a differential and provides electronic torque vectoring control). Energy for the electric motors is stored in a 15-kWh lithium-ion battery placed behind the seats, which is chemically different from the lithium-polymer pack Lotus used in its 414E. Auxiliary propulsion comes from a Lotus-designed, all-aluminum, 1.2-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 50 horsepower, that serves as a range-extender after the 30-mile life of the battery pack is extinguished. Teamed with an 8.1-gallon fuel tank, the combo allows the Emerg-E to cruise about 300 miles without stopping.

Offered the chance to take the Emerg-E for a quick loop around an autocross course in Southern California, I jumped at the opportunity.

Driving Notes

  • Climbing into the low-slung cockpit wasn’t overly difficult, but it did take a bit of maneuvering to clear the wide floor sills of this right-hand-drive test car. Once in place, there was decent room for my six-foot, two-inch frame, and I found the bucket racing seat comfortable. In addition to the aforementioned battery changes from the 414E and a fresh new skin, Infiniti has redesigned the cabin with a unique dashboard, instrument cluster, seats and steering wheel.
  • Despite all of the power on tap, driving the Emerg-E at low speeds was drama-free. There is no built-in creep, but a well-weighted accelerator pedal made crawling across the paddock in pure-EV mode effortless. Infiniti claims the 0-60 sprint is accomplished in 4.1 seconds, but my full-throttle launch felt a tick or two slower (the engineer sitting next to me warned that performance may be reduced as the battery was just about depleted). Other than the expected whir of the two motors, and the sound of gravel being thrown off the tires, all was silent for the first second. Then the combustion engine burst to life with a pleasing deep growl and boosted system power.
  • Braking was strong, as the Infiniti concept shares its four-piston monobloc calipers and drilled rotors with the production Evora and supplements it with a regenerative system. The pedal had a solid feel, and modulation was good. When lifting off the throttle, I didn’t note the strong drag often associated with aggressive regeneration – maybe I was concentrating too much on the first corner that was rapidly approaching.
  • Initial turn-in wasn’t as sharp as I had expected, about equal with the new C7 Corvette if a comparison is required, but the Emerg-E had no problem ripping around the tight circuit and navigating all of the cones. The center of gravity is impressively low, with most of the weight positioned slightly in front of the rear wheels, and I didn’t note any understeer through the slalom (the Pirelli P-Zero Corsa rubber gripped tenaciously). Thanks to abundant torque and instant throttle response, flinging the coupe around the old concrete runway was a pleasure. I’d prefer a little less overall weight, but I’ll take the powerful hybrid powertrain and chassis tuning just as it is – that’s a huge compliment to a concept car.
  • While the Emerg-E is an impressive little package, and the automaker has built a handful of prototypes, Infiniti has no plans to rush it into production. Consider its efficient technology nothing more than a test bed for future models as the automaker works towards introducing its first electric car.

Infiniti Emerg-E Concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Infiniti Boss De Nysschen: EVs ‘absolutely’ coming, just not right away

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Infiniti, AutoblogGreen Exclusive

Johann de Nysschen with Infiniti Emerg-E

“There absolutely will be EVs in Infiniti’s future” – Johan de Nysschen

Despite being closely connected to the electric vehicle pioneers at Nissan, Infiniti is taking the slow road to bringing an EV to market. Last month, the first Infiniti EV – to be based on the LE concept from the 2012 New York Auto Show – was delayed to add better tech. Infiniti president Johan De Nysschen wants to make it perfectly clear that this delay is both intentional and in no way a cancellation.

Speaking with AutoblogGreen at a media event in Newport Beach, California this week, de Nysschen was blunt: “First and foremost, I simply must state that there absolutely will be EVs in Infiniti’s future.” The first Infiniti EV was delayed, in part, to give the brand room to grow in all directions. De Nysschen, who took over Infiniti in June of 2012, told us:

We have a massive journey ahead of us. We have to diversify our product portfolio, we have to enter a bunch of new market segments, we have to enter new geographies, we have to invest in new production capacity. And all of these things together amount to a massive investment in the brand. When it comes to EVs, that is another area that would require very huge investments and it is simply, for us, balancing the investment amounts with the short-, medium- and long-term profitability requirements and the role that all these various cars will play as we shape and reposition the brand.

As Infiniti gets ready to become a global player, one thing company representatives made clear is that the big goal, a plug-in car, is not at the top of the “To do” list. It’s on there, sure, but not what’s driving the company in 2013. Plus, as de Nysschen said, when the Infiniti EV arrives, it must have the latest and greatest tech.

Continue reading Infiniti Boss De Nysschen: EVs ‘absolutely’ coming, just not right away

Infiniti Boss De Nysschen: EVs ‘absolutely’ coming, just not right away originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti Q30 premium compact concept teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Hatchback, Design/Style, Luxury

This year’s Frankfurt Motor Show is certainly shaping up to be an exciting (and busy) event, and now we have one more car to add to the list of unveilings. The Infiniti Q30 Concept will make its global debut in Frankfurt, giving a glimpse at a future premium small car for the brand, and the automaker has released the teaser sketch you see above to grab our interest before we see the real thing in person next month.

Seemingly headed in a much different direction than the 2012 LE Concept, the Q30 has even more aggressive styling to go with its two-box design. The Q30 is the not only the first Infiniti concept to come out under the company’s new design director, Alfonso Albaisa, it’s the first car that Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti’s Director of Performance, will help develop from the very beginning, and it could be the small car that Infiniti plans to build at its Sunderland, UK assembly plant.

Scroll down for the preliminary press release for this upcoming concept.

Continue reading Infiniti Q30 premium compact concept teased ahead of Frankfurt debut

Infiniti Q30 premium compact concept teased ahead of Frankfurt debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 01:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Infiniti G37 to live through MY 2015, sell alongside Q50

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Infiniti, Luxury

2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan - front three-quarter view

Infiniti has officially confirmed news we broke last month about its G37 sedan – that it will live on in showrooms alongside its erstwhile replacement, the 2014 Infiniti Q50, a model that goes on sale this week. And it’s sticking around for quite a while – it will be sold through the 2015 model year.

In order for the G37 and Q50 to not rub shoulders, Infiniti is rolling out an amended G lineup, complete with lowered pricing. The G37 will stick around in Journey and all-wheel drive trims, both powered by the same 3.7-liter VQ-Series V6 engine, and only two option groups will be available, Premium and Navigation. The 2014 G37 Journey will start at $32,550, while the G37 Sedan AWD will run $34,150 (both are subject to a $905 destination fee).

The 2013 G37 had been priced from $38,255 delivered as of earlier this week, so the price drop is significant, likely bringing the base MSRP more in line with where transaction prices had been on the aging model. The new pricing, which takes effect August 6, should also allow the G37 gain consideration amongst shoppers of smaller-engined rivals like the BMW 320i while the Q50 waits on a turbocharged four-cylinder and diesel engine from Daimler. For comparison’s sake, the larger, more tech-rich Q50 will start at $37,605 delivered.

Why leave the G37 hanging around with its successor? According to Ben Poore, Infiniti of America’s vice president:

“The introduction of the Q50 with its distinctive design, engaging performance, world’s first technologies and unmatched levels of connectivity and personalization, enables us to pursue a two-pronged strategy. It creates room to strategically offer the repositioned G37 at the lower end of the near luxury segment in addition to the higher-positioned Q50. The two vehicles aim at different market segments and allow us to serve different customer needs.”

Confusingly, the G37 will apparently keep its nameplate in the face of Infiniti’s new Q-based nomenclature, a system that has already changed the G37 Coupe and Convertible models to the name Q60. For more, check out the official press release by scrolling below.

*Note: 2010 Infiniti G37 Sedan shown

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Infiniti G37 to live through MY 2015, sell alongside Q50 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Infiniti Q50

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Performance, Infiniti, First Drives, Luxury

Avoiding An Identity Crisis… For Now

2014 Infiniti Q50

Infiniti is a brand that has been quietly undergoing major upheaval – and not just with the numbers and letters on its trunklids. Back in December, Nissan’s premium brand rankled fans and pundits by announcing it would redo its alphanumeric nomenclature, yet that decision was but a PR speedbump – there are bigger fish to fry. After all, this is a marque that was on the chopping block just a couple of years ago, and now it has a major opportunity to succeed thanks to new investment, new independence (Infiniti is now responsible for its own design, engineering, marketing, quality and human resources), a new global headquarters in Hong Kong, and new marching orders from new leadership that calls for a revitalized and expanded portfolio.

Yet if you think that the Q-based naming convention is the first sign of the brand’s new direction, you might have missed Infiniti’s biggest signal flare: the 2013 JX crossover. Fine premium three-row crossover that it may be, it’s still the first Infiniti in ages that operates without a scintilla of driving entertainment at the core of its genetic makeup. (The last – and perhaps only – previous example was also Pathfinder-based, the 1997 QX4). To be fair, three-row CUVs have a laundry list of priorities before driving enjoyment figures in, but the message the JX (henceforth known as the QX60) sends is clear: Infiniti is going after more segments and more customers. Plans are afoot to expand the company’s product line by a whopping 60 percent over the next five years, and in short, that means Infiniti is no longer content to be the unsung Japanese BMW – it needs vehicles that satisfy a wider swath of consumers. Despite all this, Infiniti officials we spoke with were keen to assert that driving pleasure remains very much core to their mission, and to that of this 2014 Q50 in particular.

And surely the Q50 is something different and altogether more palatable to enthusiasts, right? After all, it replaces the bedrock G37 sport sedan at the heart of the lineup (well, sort of), and the latter was always regarded as a good handler and a dynamic drive, even if its overall refinement left something to be desired as it aged. Yet some of the Q50’s new technology, in particular drive-by-wire steering (a world’s first production application) and a new degree of autonomous capability, had us curious to see if the most important part of the experience is still down to the soft-headed bit belted in front of the steering wheel. We spent a day driving both standard and hybrid Q50s in New England and a few more on our metro Detroit home turf to find out if there’s still a healthy percentage of “sport” in this sedan.

Continue reading 2014 Infiniti Q50

2014 Infiniti Q50 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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