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Infiniti Could Enter the Hot Hatch Segment » AutoGuide.com News
Infiniti is eyeing the performance enthusiast segment.
With the debut of the Infiniti Q60 Project Black S Concept at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, many wonder if Infiniti is going to focus more heavily on performance-oriented models. In the past, the Japanese automaker has tried to push its IPL Performance Line, but the IPLs simply didn’t pack proper performance upgrades like the never-built Q50 Eau Rouge did.
And while the Red Sport 400 versions of the Q50 and Q60 pack a punch with 400 horsepower, Infiniti lacks a real performance car, including a hot hatch.
In other markets, the Mercedes-AMG A 45 serves as a hot hatch for the luxury segment, but that doesn’t exist in the U.S. The QX30 is based on the A-Class however, so it’s always a possibility Infiniti could use a more powerful motor, tweak its suspension and chassis a bit and introduce a hot hatch competitor.
Unfortunately there’s little to no hope that Infiniti will shoehorn the Red Sport 400’s powerplant under the hood of the QX30. Instead, a more realistic possibility would be a performance hybrid powertrain, similar to what’s found in the Q50 Hybrid.
In an interview with Motoring, Infiniti chief Roland Krueger touched on the idea of a hot hatch: “At the moment we have this performance car, and we should focus on it,” referring to the Infiniti Q60 Project Black S Concept. “But the segment for small hatches needs to be assessed market by market and then we can decide if it’s a viable to launch a high-performance hatch.”
It’s a fairly non-committal statement, and rather generic when it comes to PR
speak from an executive. But it’s better than ruling it out entirely. Whether or not North America is one of those markets Infiniti is considering is an entirely different question, but hot hatches are making their presence known with the Ford Focus RS (AutoGuide.com‘s 2017 Car of the Year) and the upcoming Honda Civic Type R.