Infiniti confirmed this fall that it will, in fact, build a new compact model; now, the Hong-Kong-based automaker announced that compact car will not only be a hatchback, but will be built at Nissan’s facility in Sunderland, United Kingdom. In order to do so, Nissan’s luxury division will spend nearly £250 million ($407 million) to retool the plant.
We actually already have a pretty good idea what to expect from the new hatchback. Going by Infiniti’s recently-announced naming scheme, expect the smallest Infiniti to wear either the Q30 or Q40 moniker, given this car will slot beneath the Q50, the car formerly known as the G37. As a result of the Nissan-Daimler partnership, the car will likely share its MFA platform and most powertrains with Mercedes-Benz’s A-, B-, and CLA-Class cars. As a result, the Q30 will likely be front or all-wheel drive, and utilize four-cylinder engines.
Styling for the new Infiniti was reportedly patterned after the Etherea concept (pictured), which debuted at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. That concept evolved many of the styling cues that we are beginning to see on other Infiniti models, including a kinked C-pillar; a pinched, rectangular grille; and very fluid-like body lines.
The expansion at the Sunderland plant will allow for production of up to 60,000 Infiniti models per year on top of the 500,000 Nissans already made there. To help build the new cars, Nissan is hiring roughly 1000 more employees. Sunderland currently produces three other compact Nissans: the Note, the Juke, and the Qashqai.
Don’t expect to see the new, compact Infiniti any time soon. The automaker announced that production will not begin until 2015, and it’s long been known that the Infiniti will be the fifth model off of the MFA platform after the Mercedes A-, B-, CLA-, and GLA-Class cars.