Infiniti infiltrates the premium compact segment with the all-new Q30

The 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show will be an inauguration of sorts for Infiniti, as the brand will be debuting its very first premium compact car — the all-new Q30.

Before the covers come off in Frankfurt, though, the automaker has revealed the car in full online. The hatchback serves as the doorman to Infiniti’s model range as the smallest and cheapest vehicle available, and it does so as the product of a unique collaboration between Infiniti, Renault-Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz.

Underneath the sleek and fluidic body lies a tweaked version of Mercedes’ MFA platform, the same architecture that underpins the German outfit’s A-Class, CLA-Class, and GLA-Class vehicles. The engine — a 208-horsepower 2.0-liter four — is sourced from Germany as well. However, the car will feature a six-speed manual transmission to go along with the seven-speed dual clutch you’ll find in the Mercedes CLA. Score one for the Americans. Power is routed to the ground via front-wheel drive or an optional all-wheel drive setup.

In Europe, a 1.6-liter engine with either 120 hp or 154 hp is available along with the aforementioned 2.0-liter, but buyers can choose between two diesel powerplants as well — a 1.5-liter with 107 hp and a 2.2-liter with 168 hp.

Three versions of the Q30 will hit dealerships toward the end of 2015: the base trim, Sport, and the range-topping Premium. Sport models add gloss black and dark chrome accents to the exterior, while also adorning the cabin with a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel and body-hugging seats. As the Sport moniker would suggest, there are some performance enhancements as well, namely lowering the body by 0.6 inches and adding larger 19-inch wheels with more grip. The Premium variant tacks on LED front fog lamps, body-colored and heated door mirrors, and dual chrome exhaust tips.

As far as tech is concerned, the Q30 lives up to its premium compact moniker quite well. Features like Automatic Park Assist with Around View Monitor, Moving Object Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Forward Collision Warning with Forward Emergency Braking, and Intelligent Cruise Control are all attainable in the Q30, as is Infiniti’s tablet-like InTouch infotainment system.

More information, such as pricing, is expected to be revealed closer to the on-sale date.

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