Infiniti’s first performance line model a ‘stepping stone’ to bigger things

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Infiniti says it is not trying to go nose to nose with BMW’s M line and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG vehicles with the launch of its Infiniti Performance Line or IPL.

Not yet, anyway.

Debuting in August at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance auto show, the new performance subbrand is starting with a modestly more powerful G coupe.

The new model features a little more sex appeal in the interior with aluminum finishing and stitching for the leather seats as well as a sporty suspension, chrome-tipped exhaust pies and IPL badging both in and out.

But for all the added curves, the IPL G coupe only offers 18 more horsepower and six additional pounds of torque than the base – a fact that sits well with Robert Karwell, Infiniti Canada product specialist.

“It’s not about absolute power, it’s a package,” he says. “It is about bringing to the customer an Infiniti vehicle with more performance, style and exclusivity… it’s definitely more sporty and a driver’s car, but not in the extreme vein where you find the M line, AMG or RS models.”

He explains that the IPL will relate to the sport model how the sport relates to the base – a little sportier, a little sexier with a little more emphasis on the driving experience.

Set to hit the roughly 30 Canadian Infiniti showrooms next March, sources at the automaker says it hopes to sell between 75 and 100 IPL G coupes in the first year.

Pricing has not been released by Karwell revealed it should hover in the mid-$50,000 range, not far off from the base G sport coupe and its $48,000 sticker.

While not targeting the likes of the M line or AMG in terms of performance, he says Infiniti is also not targeting that price bracket either.

“The car will definitely slot in well below the premiums you pay for those cars. It’s the sporty performance without the sticker shock.”

Infiniti dealers can expect to see a media campaign to roll out closer to the March debut date.

When asked about plans to give its other models the IPL treatment, Karwell suggested we stay tuned, but did not reveal what entry point would get the IPL upgrade.

“We’re really looking forward to it and see it as the touchstone of the IPL brand and the first of many good things to come.”