Infiniti chief explains new naming scheme; reveals new 550-horsepower flagship sedan

2013 Infiniti M Line

Earlier this week we reported on the Infiniti’s plans to alter its product names, and obviously it ruffled more than a few feathers. This morning Infiniti President, Johan De Nysschen, took to Facebook to explain the changes and hinted at a new flagship.

The new car he mentioned in the open letter to Infiniti fans? A 550+ horsepower sedan powered by a 3.0-liter V6 fitted with charged induction that would sit atop the M56. By the current naming strategy, that vehicle would have to be called the M30 despite its being more powerful and expensive than the M56.

This follows along perfectly with what we had assumed. New, non-traditional powertrains and vehicle platforms would quickly become a jumble of nonsensical numbers and letters under the current Infiniti monikers.

Nysschen went on to explain, “Infiniti is becoming a global brand now, we are already active in almost 50 countries, the majority only very recently. Our new customers are unfamiliar with the brand and struggle to understand our range hierarchy. Is a JX above or below an FX? Where does an EX fit? What is the relationship between G and Infiniti M? Research confirms the majority of newcomers to our brand consider the naming to be somewhat arbitrary and confusing.”

We had speculated in our first report on the name change that all-wheel drive models would have to have an “X” following their name, which would, again, confuse uninitiated consumers. Not so, says Nysschen. “We won’t call all-wheel drive models Q50X or QX50X. The fact that a model may feature four wheel drive, will be indicated by specific badging describing this feature on the car, and is not part of the model name.”

So it appears despite the public outcry, Infiniti is sticking with the new names for 2014. Other automakers already trademarked all the other good names, hinted Nysschen, so Infiniti had to go with Q or QX followed by a double-digit number going in intervals of 10 denoting price and not engine size.

Amusingly just this morning, before the Nysschen letter was published, Autocar published an op/ed pleading for Infiniti to instead name their vehicles rather than assign them a code.

We’ll be sure to follow up on this story should more controversy arise. In the meantime, prepare yourself for an onslaught of Qs.

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