Americans like things. Specifically, they like big things. The bigger the thing, the better the thing. All the things must be big. Also, they want all the big things, all the time.
It’s a traditional American mentality. And, recently, it’s been one of America’s most profitable exports to China – a superpower that increasingly wants superbig things.
China’s new wealth, the product of the introduction of capitalism after pure communist rule for decades, is hungry for American-sized – and larger – things. Cars are at the top of the list. And the automakers know it.
Infiniti, not wanting to be left without something to offer China’s insatiable hunger for larger cars, is doing its best with what it has in its arsenal.
Currently, the Japanese luxury brand – which is based in Hong Kong for many smart reasons – only has two sedans to sell customers: the newly introduced Q50, which replaced the G sedan, and the Q70.
The latter used to be called the Infiniti M, a nameplate Infiniti poured a fair amount of cash over in an attempt to jumpstart sales. The M hybrid was, at one point, touted as being quicker than the Porsche Panamera Hybrid. Yet, with all that marketing, sales of Infiniti’s largest car have never really been all that impressive.
The fact is Infiniti has a limited sedan lineup and their largest car has never really had an ace up its sleeve to draw in buyers, especially undecideds looking for a ballot box to vote using hard cash.
Enter the Q70L, built with the American aspirations of the new Chinese mindset. With 150 mm of extra length, 143 of those going to rear seat legroom, this is Infiniti’s “budget” limo and it’s the only long-wheelbase car in its class.
I only use the cash-conscious b-word because the Q70L will be the least expensive of all stretched vehicles available in our market when it hits dealer lots later this year.
2015 Infiniti Q70L, driver’s seat. Click image to enlarge
Price? Between $75,000 and $80,000 (official pricing has not been finalized for Canada).
While the United States will get a number of Q70L models, Canada only gets one: the Q70L 5.6 V8 with most of the optional extras ticked before you even look at the order sheet. Our market is small, and our thirst for large cars is even smaller, so this is no surprise.
The whole Q70 lineup receives a fairly mild exterior once-over. Infiniti will tell you it’s fully redesigned, but almost everything is the same, or at least similar. Safety gadgets have been added along with mildly improved engines, transmissions, and suspensions.
On our drive through New York City and the countryside of New York and New Jersey, it was evident the Q70 is, by all accounts, a comfortable hauler. But, don’t for a moment look to the Infiniti Q50 to foreshadow any sporting intentions. The Q70 is a cruiser, best left on the highway or crawling its way through city traffic. If it were a little more affordable, it could even be a great livery car.