Mike Stevens | May 13, 2010

REPORTS OUT of the US this week have lead to speculation that Nissan's luxury arm Infiniti is investigating the idea of a compact SUV to take on the likes of the BMW X1 and Audi's upcoming Q3.

Infiniti itself has not offered any confirmation of such a plan, however the recent platform and engine deal between Renault-Nissan and Daimler has fueled reports that Infiniti will look to build a compact SUV on Mercedes-Benz architecture.

Our new rendering offers one look at how a smaller Infiniti SUV might be styled, borrowing design cues from the larger EX and the Nissan Dualis.

If Infiniti does move to introduce an entry-level compact SUV, a late-2012 debut in the US would likely be the earliest launch. The BMW X1 is available now, and Audi says its Q3 compact SUV will arrive in late 2011.

The Infiniti brand is set to make a long-anticipated return to Australia in the coming years, with Nissan Australia CEO Dan Thompson confirming the company's intentions to TMR during the local launch of the 370Z Roadster launch.

Mr Thompson would not confirm a date, but said that an announcement on the company's plans will be made later this year.

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