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Infiniti Q50 First Drive of BMW 3-Series Rival

Making a rival for the BMW 3-Series is a thankless task at the moment but the Japanese car maker believes that this new 2014 Infiniti Q50 will help them achieve a five-fold increase in sales. Thankfully Infiniti has set a 10 year target for this increase in sales and they’ve unleashed this all new machine as the first assault on a mature market that’s dominated by German saloons.

The new Q50 takes a lot of the platform architecture that Infiniti developed for the outgoing G37 and adds Mercedes sourced diesel power so it should be a serious contender. Infiniti are expecting the 2.2 litre diesel to soak up around 90% of its UK sales with the remaining cars sold with a petrol-hybrid that uses a Nissan sourced 3.5 litre V6 with a 67bhp electric motor and a seven-speed transmission.

Infiniti is targeting 1,500 sales in the UK in the car’s first year, a very small number when compared to the metal shifted by the German marques but a major hike on the 600 units Infiniti sold last year. To help shift the volume Infiniti has laced the car with technology, the most impressive of which is the drive-by-wire steering system, the first to be fitted to any car. This is an £800 option on the base model but comes as standard if you choose Sports Trim. There’s no mechanical connection between the steering wheel in your hands and the four wheels on the road which lowers friction and kickback. The driver’s feel isn’t affected because you can configure the steering weight and input responsiveness from the cabin.

Infiniti has priced the SE diesel at £27,950, which undercuts the BMW 320d SE by £540. The Sport with Premium upgrade is a wallet busting £32,750 and you can spend more by specing all sorts of options like sat nav and enhanced in-car entertainment packages.

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