Infiniti. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Nissan's luxury division is considering a more aggressive sub-brand here in the U.S. that will allow it to follow in the path of Mercedes AMG and BMW's M cars. That's a predictable desire, but the question remains whether or not Nissan even has the chops to pull it off. Infiniti's current product lineup is devoid of expressive, alluring cars, and its fundamental design integrity suffers from the disease that's affecting all of Nissan and Infiniti design right now - and that is the fact that it veers from flat-out embarrassing (Nissan Sports Sedan Concept) to relentlessly uninspired (Infiniti Eau Rouge Concept). Jump-starting Infiniti has become one of the most daunting challenges in the business right now and on every level too - product, design, engineering and marketing. Where Infiniti is as opposed to where it wants to be is a huge leap, one that will take years - not quarters - to rectify. One wonders how long Infiniti dealers will keep buying into this program, especially when they're looking at their watches every five minutes already? - PMD
(Images courtesy of The Lincoln Motor Company)
Lincoln will introduce the new 2015 Navigator at the Chicago Auto Show on February 6. A classic entry in the full-size luxury SUV segment since the late 1990s, the freshened Navigator offers nearly two dozen upgrades from the current model, from a redesigned exterior - incorporating Lincoln’s split-wing grille - to an updated, more luxurious interior. A new, more powerful 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost® V6 engine is projected to deliver at least 370 horsepower and 430 lb.-ft. of torque and offer best-in-class towing. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with Lincoln’s SelectShift. The vehicle is available in both four-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive configurations, and like its predecessor, the 2015 Navigator will be available in standard-length (207.4 inches) and extended-length (222.3 inches) versions. The Reserve Package introduces a new level of refinement inside and out, from its 22-inch polished aluminum wheels to the extensive use of ultra-luxurious leather on all three rows of seats, armrests, center console and transmission shifter, plus the use of Ziricote wood trim, a natural-grain wood most commonly used in yachts. “Navigator has retained some of the most loyal following in the segment for more than a decade,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president, Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “Among Lincoln owners, more than 70 percent have been return customers – purchasing the vehicle for its power, for its beauty and for its capability, and this new Navigator gives them more on all three fronts.” The 2015 Navigator will be in Lincoln showrooms early this fall.
Nissan has announced pricing for the 2015 Nissan GT-R as follows - Premium: $101,770 USD; GT-R Black Edition: $111,510 USD and GT-R Track Edition: $115,710 USD. The major changes for the 2015 Nissan GT-R include a recalibrated suspension for a more sophisticated ride and better road holding; enhanced exterior appearance with LED headlight technology and distinctive front and rear designs – plus a carbon fiber trunk lid on Track Edition models; a more premium interior feel with enhanced appointments and improved quietness, including a standard Bose® Active Noise Cancellation system and a carbon-style instrument cluster and new Ivory interior color option (with Premium Edition). The GT-R Premium and GT-R Black Edition grades are on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. The GT-R Track Edition and a fourth grade level, the new GT-R NISMO, are scheduled to join the lineup in summer 2014 – with GT-R NISMO pricing to be announced closer to that time.