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Infiniti renames entire lineup

Photo Credit: JOHN M. VINCENT - With an aggressive design and a highly sculpted body, the 2014 Infiniti Q50S looks ready to tackle the most challenging of roads.

Naming cars isn’t as easy as it once was.

For one thing, more manufacturers are trying to use common names across all of their global markets, where common English names don’t really work. Then there’s new engine technology, where a small turbocharged motor can significantly outperform a larger motor. So using engine displacement in the name doesn’t make as much sense as it once did.

Photo Credit: JOHN M. VINCENT - The 2014 Infiniti Q50S features a cockpit-like cabin and two large information screens.
 
Luxury carmaker Infiniti made the drastic decision to rename all of their cars for the 2014 model year. They even renamed models that were otherwise unchanged. Now every car is a Q followed by a two digit number, and every crossover and SUV is a QX-something. The numbers don’t really mean anything, other than the vehicle’s respective level in the lineup.

Here’s how it all shakes out:

Their newest sedan, the impressive Q50 is available in ten different models. Perhaps the best car the brand has produced since the original G35, the Q50S 3.7 AWD offers a great blend of performance with inclement weather capability.

The Q40 is the new name for the G37 Sedan. Same tight and nimble car though.

Q60 replaces the nameplate on the former G Sports Coupe and G Convertible. The IPL coupe becomes the Coupe Limited, while the IPL Convertible retains its Infiniti Performance Line initials.

Replacing and refreshing the M Luxury sedan lineup is the Q70 sedan. For 2015 it will be available in a long-wheelbase model, adding 5.9 inches of rear legroom to the car.

Photo Credit: JOHN M. VINCENT - 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid AWDs are EPA rated at a combined 26 miles per gallon. A drive mode selector allows drivers to choose a balance of efficiency and performance.

On the crossover front, the small EX lineup becomes the QX50, and the FX performance crossover model becomes the QX70.

The JX three-row crossover only held that name for a year. For 2014 it became the QX60. The QX60 is larger than it looks, and the hybrid model makes a great road trip car — both comfortable and roomy with efficiency and road manners well-suited for cruising.

The massive QX56 became the QX80 for 2014. For 2015 a new Limited trim level becomes the flagship of the company’s SUV lineup.

Photo Credit: JOHN M. VINCENT - With three rows of comfortable seats and hybrid efficiency, the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid makes a great road trip vehicle.  
Infiniti hopes that the changes will create an intuitive hierarchy of models for consumers to compare. With luck, they won’t replicate the experience of Ford’s Lincoln division, where the series of MK-prefixed cars and crossovers seems only to have confused potential customers of the struggling luxury brand.