Infiniti gives first look at Q30 hatchback

At the 2013 Frankfurt auto show, Infiniti showed off the Q30 concept, a hatchback serving as a template for a new Infiniti model.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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nfiniti Q30 concept
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Watch this: Infiniti Q30 Concept

FRANKFURT -- Five years after crossover vehicles came out in droves, the auto industry is all abuzz over compact SUVs. Similar to a crossover, a compact SUV fits well into the urban environment while offering owners convenient utility.

Infiniti plans to enter this space in 2015 with the Q30 model.

On its way to the production model, Infiniti revealed a concept for the Q30 here at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. Infiniti writes in a press release that the Q30 concept defies categorization, sitting somewhere between a "coupe, hatch, and crossover."

Giving it the Q30 name, rather than QX30, suggests that Infiniti does not want the vehicle classified with its larger crossovers, the EX and FX, which are undergoing a name change. Currently, the Infiniti's Q models are all sedans. The Q30 would add variety to that end of the lineup.

Sitting up on 20-inch wheels and with its high sides, it looks taller than a typical hatchback, so would seem to fit the compact SUV category.

Infiniti reveals new hatchback, in concept form (pictures)

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The front of the car comes up in an aggressively large grille, with lower air intakes on the front fascia. Slim headlights are well integrated into the fender and hood line. Deep, curvy contour lines run down the side, giving the car an organic look.

The most prominent design element is the rear pillar, which zigs forward with an attitude suggesting motion.

There are some derivative elements in the Q30 concept's design. The long nose and curvy sides suggest the Nagare design language developed by Mazda. The rear hatch resembles that of the Lexus CT 200h.

Infiniti released no specifications for the Q30 concept, so drivetrain and tech remain a mystery. But Infiniti should be making its intentions clearer throughout next year's auto shows.