Report: Infiniti’s entry-level luxury model coming by 2016, will fight with 1 Series, A-Class, A3

At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new A-Class, its compact competitor to the BMW 1-Series and the Audi A3 – meaning all the major German brands are at each other’s throat with an impressive entry-level model.

Well, now the Japanese want a piece of the pie and the first brand to jump in the German war of luxury entry-level models is Infiniti. The brand is planning to launch an entry-level premium model in Europe within four years.

According to Jean-Pierre Diernaz, Infiniti Europe marketing director, the new entry-level model will be very successful since it combines driving dynamics with an emphasis on sleek styling – something he believes German brands no longer offer. Diernaz said that it will be very different from anything currently offers in the premium compact segment and won’t be just another smaller version of conservative luxury model.

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“The luxury market is dominated by a handful of German players in Europe, but the new generation of buyers is not necessarily interested in their daddy’s brand,” Diernaz told Automotive News Europe. “There is a need for more-modern luxury models.”

What’s it going to look like? Diernaz says just look at the Etherea concept for your closest hint.

Infiniti plans on launching the car by 2016 and plans on building it in Europe. Production will be taken care of by Magna Steyr, who will build about 50,000 to 60,000 units a year. The model is expected to be built on Mercedes-Benz’s MFA architecture, which underpins the second-generation A and B-Class.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News