The usually well-informed on local business matters Japanese business daily Nikkei, reported last month that Nissan would launch the Infiniti brand in the country with the Q50, the predecessors of which, were sold as the Nissan Skyline, leaving questions about the fate of the latter.
It turns out that, in a twisted way, the report was partially right, and we say this because the company today unveiled the new Nissan Skyline with…Infiniti badges, and we quote two passages from the official release so you can better understand the confusion:
“Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. today announced the launch of the all-new Skyline, which goes on sale late February 2014 at Nissan dealers throughout Japan.”
“Offering unprecedented driving pleasure, its sensuous design, advanced technology and performance will be new benchmarks for luxury models. What supports these are Nissan’s great technology strength and expertise in design gained by the development of Nissan Motor Company’s world-class premium brand, Infiniti. As its proof, the new Skyline carries Infiniti badge.”
So, in other words, Nissan has presented the car that the rest of the world has come to know as the new Infiniti Q50, as the new Nissan Skyline in Japan, but instead of wearing Nissan’s logos, it uses Infiniti emblems.
We’re guessing that Nissan didn’t want to suddenly kill the Skyline nameplate so it chose the rather strange, and frankly, quite confusing solution of quietly introducing the Infiniti nameplate in its home market before making its next move.
Other than the white turning signals up front, the replacement of the “Infiniti” moniker on the boot lid trim with the “Skyline” name, and the absence of the Infiniti logo on the trunk, there’s nothing else different about the looks of the Japanese market Nissan Skyline with the global Infiniti Q50.
At launch, the new Skyline will be offered exclusively in a hybrid variant dubbed 350GT, which pairs a 296hp 3.5-liter V6 to a 50 kW motor and compact lithium ion battery, with a system output of 354 horsepower. It will be available in both RWD and AWD variants.
Prices in Japan will range from 4,496,100 yen to 5,537,700 yen ($45,300 to $55,800) including consumption tax.
Nissan noted that the previous generation V36 Skyline will continue to be sold in three grades, 250 GT, 250 Type S and 250GT FOUR.