“The Q50 has Infiniti design DNA running through it,” says new Infiniti design director Alfonso Albaisa.
Yes, the “design DNA” line is a bit of a cliché, but it is often the only way for a designer to sum up all the bits and pieces, shapes, twists, curves and bulges that comprise a car’s look. And Albaisa is a nice fellow, so let’s cut him some slack.
He’s saying, in fact, that what you see in the look of the Q50 evolved from concept cars before it. Specifically, the Essence, Etherea, Emerg-E, three concept cars from the past four years in which you’ll see the basic look of future models.
And there will be many of them. Tim Franklin, Nissan Canada’s chief product planner, says the portfolio of Infiniti vehicles will expand by 60 per cent over the next five years. Beyond the Q50 sedan arriving in showrooms now, look for a coupe version (the Q60), a compact car, a top-end coupe or convertible (or both) and a small SUV/crossover based on the Q30 concept introduced at the Frankfurt auto show earlier this month. Moreover, the number of powertrains available globally will more than double and Infiniti has plans to expand manufacturing from Japan to the United States, China and the United Kingdom.
Albaisa wants every Infiniti design to be inviting and emotional. You should react in your gut and heart when you see the cars. The Cuban-American Albaisa went so far as to say Infiniti designs will go a bit “Latin,” according to Automotive News.
“I want to capture a kind of emotional spontaneity in the design that I don’t think other auto makers have ever attempted,” he told the industry publication. “I want a Latin look – which, to me, means romance and red-blooded sensuality.
“In the past, I think we have tried to evoke a more stately sense of being Japanese.”
He added that the design changes will become more apparent in 2016 with the introduction of a new two-door model – and surprisingly noted that the styling direction he is championing is not embodied in the Q50 sedan or the Q30 concept.
“You will start to see the new look in a particular car that will come after those,” Albaisa said.
Apparently, Infiniti’s product plan is more a work in progress than even the closest observers have been led to believe.