We have big Q's about Infiniti's new naming scheme
By Mark Atkinson for MSN Autos
Confused about the alphanumeric names that more and more luxury car makers are adopting? Join the club. The seemingly random combination of letters and numbers more often appears chosen by pure chance rather than by logic. As of today, we can officially add another one to the pile: Infiniti.
What's that, you ask? Infiniti already uses an alphanumeric system? Why yes, it does. The letters denote the model line, the numbers afterward mean displacement. If there's a big 'X' between the two, that means it's an SUV or crossover. Although somewhat confusingly, if there's a small 'x' after the number on a car, that means it has all-wheel drive. So a G37 is the smallest sedan with a 3.7-litre V6 while the FX50 is a larger crossover with a 5.0-litre V8. Reasonably simple.
However, Infiniti has just announced that it is blowing up 30 years worth of convention to 'simplify' its lineup.
“Over the past few months, we have talked at length with our retailers, our customers, and our business partners about our brand," said Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Motor Company Limited. "The need for a new identity and direction to promote consumer familiarity with our model range as we expand the portfolio became evident. To achieve this, we clearly needed a simple and consistent nomenclature framework. After exhaustive research and evaluation, we concluded that ‘Q’ captured the inspiration within the next generation of Infiniti models, as well as emphasizing our performance credentials while harking back to our heritage with the Q45 – Infiniti’s first iconic flagship product in 1989.”
So here's how it'll work. Car names will start with Q; crossovers and SUVs with QX. The number afterwards reflects on its position in the lineup relative to other Infinitis and not displacement.
The current M line becomes Q70, the current G Coupe becomes Q60, and the upcoming G Sedan replacement will be the Q50.
The vulgar QX56 is now the QX80, the current FX is now the QX70, the brand-new JX35 becomes QX60, while the EX37 gets QX50.
Perhaps the most egregious is the new JX, which is excellent and has gotten plenty of news and word-of-mouth already and now all of that momentum is wiped out. The only similarly bonehead move that comes to mind is when Lincoln quickly renamed its original Fusion-based Zephyr to MKZ after only a year or two. Although, Lincoln's MK-Everything naming scheme is similarly flawed and most of us in the 'biz' get them all confused...
So what do you think about Infiniti's big changes? Smart? Not so much? Even more confused? Let us know in the comments!