Infiniti is planning a hot performance range – and will draw on F1 partner Red Bull Racing's expertise to ensure the cars hit the mark.
Newly installed Infiniti European chief Fintan Knight wants to inject more passion in his range and drawing on experience from his previous employer, Lamborghini, he has some big plans.
Knight only joined the brand on May 1 after bowing out from the Italian supercar manufacturer with the ultimate swan song.
"The Veneo was my baby and was my last big job at Lamborghini before joining Infiniti," he explained, referring to the £3m hypercar the brand revealed at this year's Geneva motor show to rain on the LaFerrari's parade.
"I want our buyers to be as passionate about our cars as they were at Lamborghini. Cars have become soulless and I want to put some energy back – one way we can do that is with IPL."
IPL stands for the Infiniti Performance Line and from the way Knight talks about it the manufacturer appears to have made significant headway with a hot range.
Drawing on expertise from its Red Bull Racing collaboration, Knight said engineers from the F1 team and world champion Sebastian Vettel himself will help tune the cars.
"No car manufacturer has ever really had the opportunity to tap into F1 engineers like we have," he explained.
"It will not be a carbon copy of BMW's M range or AMG – we will strive to do it in our own unique and exciting way. The German marques have got boring. Their design is uniform and too consistent. They breed the character out of cars.
"We will aim to change that with our performance range."
Knight has some exciting ways of describing new Infiniti technology too. He hates the word "hybrid" instead referring to it as "electric supercharging".
"It's not about turbos or supercharging any more it's about how you can electrically supercharge a car," he explained. "With electric you can provide an instant boost to a power train – it's a switch, it's binary, it's either on or off. That's exciting and I don't think the word hybrid does it justice."
Knight may only have been in the top job for a few weeks, but it's clear he has some big plans for the brand. We're looking forward to seeing the results.
July 1, 2013