Infiniti plans Audi A3 rival



Infiniti is planning to expand its range with a rival to the likes of the Audi A3 and the BMW 1 Series that it will introduce "soon after 2013".

Gert van Arvondt, project manager for the Infiniti G and M said: "We are looking at introducing a smaller model below the G."
Van Arvondt confirmed that the as-yet-unnamed car would be made with the same focus as the rest of the company's range, saying: "Infiniti is a performance brand."

A company spokesman confirmed that, while it would be a rival to the likes of the A3, it would not be a carbon copy of the five-door hatchbacks, saying that Infiniti is proud of the fact that it offers something different to its German competitors.

The new model would be the smallest in the range, but is not likely to be the cash-winning best seller, as that honour is set to go to the four-cylinder diesels that will make it to market within the next couple of years thanks to an agreement signed with Daimler last year.

Van Arvondt said that the delayed introduction of these engines, which would allow Infiniti to compete with the high-selling rivals to the M like the BMW 520d, is down to establishing the company as a sport, performance brand.

"We needed to build the brand so decided to introduce the high-power units and then after another couple of years introduce the four-cylinder units," said van Arvondt. However, he said it would not be a case of just slotting the Daimler diesels into the car, adding that they would be tuned by Infiniti first.
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