Despite the drawbacks, Infiniti believes there is a market for front-wheel drive luxury vehicles and is considering launching several models based on a platform where the front wheels do the driving.
While popular models like the G and M sedans will remain rear-wheel drive, Nissan’s U.S. chief for product planning, Larry Dominique, has revealed that a new entry-level, front-wheel drive Infiniti, or even a family of vehicles, are under consideration.
Speaking at the recent 2010 Detroit Auto Show, Dominique explained that many buyers in this segment are either unaware or do not care whether a car is front-, rear- or even all-wheel drive, citing buyers of cars like the front-wheel drive TSX and all-wheel drive TL from Acura as an example.
"Those buyers are OK with it," he said.
With Lexus preparing a new small car based on its recent LF-Ch concept and Mercedes-Benz successfully selling its A- and B-Class models overseas, there's a very strong chance Infiniti might launch something along the same lines.
It wouldn't be the first time Infiniti has sold a front-wheel drive vehicle. The I35 sedan was the last front-wheel drive model Infiniti sold before the brand switched its policy to offering only rear-wheel drive models in an effort to raise its status against rivals like BMW and Mercedes-Benz.