Infiniti launches £100,000 SUV

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Infiniti will become the latest manufacturer to break the £100,000 mark for a production SUV when the FX50 S Vettel special edition goes on sale.

It's not the first £100,000-plus SUV (Range Rover has done one, and the Mercedes G 55 AMG costs £117,000), but the huge price tag is yet another sign that the luxury SUV market is only going one way. *Lazy shock referencing tactic alert* And this despite the ongoing recession and increasing environmental solicitude.

Bentley, Lamborghini, and new London-based manufacturer Eterniti are all poised to make six-figure Chelsea Tractors, and Rolls-Royce is reportedly set to join them.

Nissan-owned Infiniti is slowly but surely expanding its presence in the UK, although it's limited by a relatively small product lineup.

A six-figure SUV is hardly likely to send Infiniti crawling up the sales charts, but it does give the company a timely halo product at a time when luxury SUVs are all the rage.

The price of the Sebastian Vettel special edition FX50 S hasn't been officially revealed, but according to Autocar it's set to cost €120,000 in mainland Europe; Infiniti UK is waiting to see how many Brits say they'd like one before deciding how many of the batch to bring over here.

Unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, the car has a 414bhp 5.0-litre V8 engine and a 186mph top speed, aided partly by a downforce-generating carbon fibre body kit.

The car, whose chassis was co-developed with Red Bull F1 driver Vettel, will not hit buyers' drives until 2013.