Infiniti previews the Mercedes-based Q30 compact ahead of its Frankfurt debut

2016 Infiniti Q30
Infiniti has published the first official picture of the upcoming Q30 hatchback. Positioned at the very bottom of the car maker’s lineup, the all-new Q30 is scheduled to make its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show that will open its doors this September.

Updated on 07-21-2015 by Ronan Glon: Added official information from Infiniti.

The Q30 is a product of the burgeoning partnership between Infiniti parent company Renault-Nissan and Mercedes-Benz. It is instantly recognizable as a member of the Infiniti lineup thanks to a sharp design accented by styling cues such as elongated headlights, a double-arch grille, sculpted flanks, and a crescent-cut C-pillar accented by a strip of chrome trim. As expected, the Q30 is a slightly toned-down version of the Q30 Concept that was introduced at the 2013 edition of the Frankfurt show.

The Infiniti genes are only skin-deep. The Q30 rides on a slightly modified version of the front-wheel drive MFA platform that underpins Mercedes’ lineup of compacts, including the A-, the CLA-, and the GLA-Class.

The story is the same in the engine bay. Technical details are being kept under wraps for the time being, but the hatchback is expected to be available with a long list of Mercedes- and — interestingly — Renault-sourced, four-cylinder gasoline- and diesel-burning engines. Most models will ship with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission, but buyers will be able to order all-wheel drive, an automatic transmission, or both at an extra cost.

We’ll bring you more details about the Infiniti Q30 as soon as it makes its full debut. Scheduled to go on sale across the Old Continent before the end of the year, it will fight head to head against the BMW 1 Series and the Audi A3, and it will inevitably overlap with the A-Class that it’s based on.

The Q30 Concept was shown at the 2013 Los Angeles Motor Show in order to gauge show-goers’ reaction to the idea of an entry-level Infiniti, but we hear that executives have ultimately decided not to sell the model in the United States because the premium hatchback segment here is tiny at best.

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