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