LIMOUSINES FOR ALL?
The chase for Chinese limo buyers is almost becoming a caricature. Based on all the attention lavished on this tiny segment of China's 10-million-unit auto market, you might think that everyone's first car there is a LWB limo with individual thrones in back and a chauffeur up front.
That is emphatically not the case.
Most Chinese car sales are humdrum little sedans made of sawdust and hope, powered by smog and costing a pretty penny for the privilege.
LIMOUSINES FOR SOME!
But there is a logic in snagging limo buyers. First off, the profit margins are some of the highest in the world on these high-dollar Chinese luxury cars. Secondly, these are the halo taste-makers to help sell far more basic models. They are brand-builders and style trendsetters, even if the stiff in the back seat is about as cool as most middle-aged government employees. Aka, not cool or sexy or fun whatsoever. But they have the cash to splash out on aspirational luxury.
The new Q70L Bespoke Edition takes the appeal of Infiniti's long-wheelbase flagship to the next level with quilted, hand-cut and hand-stitched leathers lining almost every inch of the cabin. This extends to the grab handles on the roof, the ceiling in back, and an all-new set of thrones with integrated center console.
INNOVATIVE 'YELL-AT-DRIVER' CONTROL SYSTEM?
One odd missing piece back here are seat-mounted touchscreens of any kind of multimedia controls, as is typically standard in this class. Even the new Ford Taurus has a super-premium setup in the center armrest of the back seat. Perhaps Infiniti just is not showing its control setup back there? Unclear.
But when your luxury flagship is bested by a Ford Taurus, you might have some issues taking on Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
We are shocked at the level of technology in the Infiniti range lately. Aside from the new Q50, all Infiniti's infotainment setups are like stepping into a 10-years-ago time capsule.
AUDI DUTY TIME
The Q70L Bespoke Edition is aimed squarely at the Audi A6L -- China's best-selling luxury car. Infiniti hopes this Bespoke Edition will bring some Bentley gravitas to the top of its sedan range -- at a price that still makes the S-Class and Panamera twice as expensive.
No word on the cost of the Bespoke Edition upgrade, but we'd expect around a $5,000 to $10,000 premium.
2015 INFINITI Q70L Bespoke Edition
INFINITI UNVEILS Q70L BESPOKE EDITION AT AUTO SHANGHAI; JOINS Q60 CONCEPT AND Q80 INSPIRATION IN SHOW DEBUT
- Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition revealed with concept-car inspired interior
- Q80 Inspiration and Q60 Concept vehicles also make China premieres
- Infiniti design, plus Global and China growth, highlighted
Hong Kong/Shanghai – Infiniti today took the covers off its Infiniti Q70L Bespoke Edition at Auto Shanghai 2015, showcasing its concept car-inspired interior for the first time in front of the predominantly Chinese crowd.
The special version of the production Q70L, with a 5.9-inch (150 mm) longer wheelbase, features four luxurious seats wrapped in rich white quilted leather. This exploration is meant to fill the gap between the current interiors in production cars and luscious interiors of Infiniti's concept cars.
Shaped by meticulous craftsmanship and three-dimensional textures, the cabin of the Q70L Bespoke Edition has been transformed into a cossetting space, hinting at how the artistry of Infiniti's concept cars can become reality.
The production model of the Infiniti Q70, and two more Infiniti concepts – the Q80 Inspiration and Q60 Concept – were also making Auto Shanghai debuts.
The four-door Q80 Inspiration is designed to shake up the status quo among large premium sedans with its convention-defying body styling and daring proportions, while the angular exterior of the two-door Q60 Concept is a boldly designed precursor to a premium sports coupe to be produced in 2016.
"Today's display reinforces Infiniti's distinctive design language of power and artistry, with the Q70L translating that seamlessly into an interior treatment," said Roland Krueger, president Infiniti Motor Company. "Our growing product portfolio is continuing to be inspired by our progressive design language as Infiniti further enhances its distinctive presence in the premium world."
Infiniti's global sales increased by 13.5 percent in 2014, with 186,200 vehicles sold. In the first quarter of 2015, the automaker recorded its best ever quarter of sales worldwide: 52,000 cars sold representing a year-on-year increase of 12 percent. Read more about recent Infiniti global sales performance here: Infiniti continues strong sales pace.
During the same quarter, sales in China increased by 28.3 percent year-on-year, highlighting the growing importance of the market in Infiniti's ambitious global business plan. Building on recent investment, the next few years will see Infiniti's manufacturing footprint continue to expand to five countries on three continents, and its global dealer network by the end of 2016 will grow by a third from the current 490 worldwide Infiniti Centers.
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States and China. Production in the UK will start in 2015, bringing with it significant expansion of the brand's portfolio. Infiniti plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.
As the Title Partner and Vehicle Performance Partner of Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Infiniti has a far-reaching technical collaboration with the four-time FIA Formula One World Championship winning Team.
More information about Infiniti, its Total Ownership Experience® and its industry leading technologies can be found at www.infinitiUSA.com. For the latest news on Infiniti, visit InfinitiNews.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.