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Mike Stevens | Dec, 20 2012 | 2 Comments

Infiniti president Johan de Nysscen has addressed the faithful this week, explaining the need for the brand's naming shake-up - and hinting at a new performance flagship.

Earlier this week, Infiniti announced it would move away from its current naming system, shifting regular cars to the Q badge, while SUVs will become QX models.

In a frank letter to fans, de Nysschen said that research has shown that newcomers to the Infiniti brand are often confused by the existing G, M and (E,J,F,Q)X model names.

"Is a JX above or below an FX? Where does an EX fit? What is the relationship between G and Infiniti M?," de Nysschen said.

The company decided that a new nomenclature was needed, but with most range-wide alphanumeric combinations already spoken for by other brands, its options were limited.

"In order to expand our line up with the fascinating new models we are developing, we must create a more flexible nomenclature philosophy," de Nysschen added.

Embracing the letter Q across the Infiniti line-up was an easy step, he said, with the carmaker already owning the naming assets of Q and QX, each followed by double digits.

Under this system, Infiniti has confirmed the upcoming new G sedan as the Q50, G Coupe and Convertible as the Q60 and M sedan as Q70.

Likewise, the EX becomes the QX50, JX becomes QX60, the Australian-delivered FX becomes the QX70, and - easiest of them all - the Patrol-based QX becomes the QX80.

de Nysschen added that the carmaker will resist complicating the names; rather than describing all-wheel-drive models as (for example) the QX50X, its drive configuration will be noted in separate badging.

"The really exciting implication of all this is that it prepares the way for the introduction of several fascinating new models above and below the current line up, and a wider range of powertrains including some truly stunning performance cars in our future," he said.

 

Q70/Q80 Performance Flagship

It is already known that Infiniti will introduce a smaller model to take on the Lexus CT, 1 Series, Audi A3 and A-Class, but the big tip for fans is the potential for an M5-challenging Q70 flagship.

In his letter, de Nysschen offers the example of a 410kW "charged induction" V6 model entering above the current 313kW M56 V8 flagship.

"I'm sure you will agree, it would be a bit odd to have a powerful, luxurious and refined V8 powered Infiniti M56, then position a new high-tech 550+ horsepower performance flagship for the Infiniti M range above it, using a potent charged induction V6, but then call it Infiniti M30, which we would be obliged to do, following our current naming logic," he teased.

Whether such a model is in development remains to be seen, but that was quite the specific example...

It is also possible that, as a new hero offering, the new model would wear a Q80 badge instead of the regular M-replacing Q70 moniker - suggesting that any larger Audi A8 and 7 Series rival would need a Q90 or Q100 badge.

If you're confused, we suspect you're not alone.

Watch for more details on the new Infiniti line-up in the coming year, and the all-new Q50 sedan at next month's Detroit Auto Show.

 
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