Report: Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti team up on new compact hatchback

Reports suggest that Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti will team up to share technology in which the two companies will collaborate their efforts to introduce a new compact hatchback to compete with the likes of the BMW 1-Series and the Audi A3. That said, this new project is more or less spawned from the Etherea Concept.

Because of the sources readily available from the German side, the two said that the compact hatchback would most likely be based on the Mercedes-Benz A-Class platform, which also underpins the B-Class. Both are front-wheel drive.

Powertrains are still being worked out, which include the traditional diesel and gasoline motors. And thanks to the Japanese side of the partnership, it’s possible to ponder about either a hybrid or full-electric powertrain as well, if not both.

Some of you may be thinking, well, because Infiniti is owned by Nissan, who is also owned by Renault, doesn’t the luxury brand have plenty of front-wheel drive platforms to choose from in the parts bin? As Nissan’s Executive Vice President Andy Palmer said:

“There are very few mass brands that make that walk into luxury. And there’s a reason for that, which is embedded somewhere within the way the products are executed and in the engineering. A luxury brand will need much better torsional rigidity, much better NVH than you would put into a mass brand. If you have a product that handles like an A-class or a B-class, with that level of NVH, with that level of torsional rigidity, but you can do it at a cost, which is closer to where a mass brand would be, then you’re in a very good place from a competitive point of view. And that’s where we’re trying to be.”

– By: Chris Chin

Source: CARandDRIVER

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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