Luxury automaker Infiniti desperately needs a compact offering to counter cars like the Mercedes-Benz A Class, the Audi A3 and the BMW 1-Series. Its 2011 concept, the Etherea, even showed the direction Infiniti was going with its take on compact luxury.

Last May, Nissan announced that it was entering into a feasibility study with third-party automaker Magna Steyr, and it was widely believed that the contract manufacturer would build Infiniti’s new compact offering under license.

Not so, says Nissan, who has just announced that Infiniti is moving ahead with the project. Instead of outsourcing the build, Infiniti will manufacture its compact premium offering in a European manufacturing plant, with a tentative launch date of 2015.

The new Infiniti model will share a front-drive platform, called the MFA, with the Mercedes-Benz A and B Class, building on an alliance between Renault-Nissan and Daimler.

Since the collaborative effort extends to engines as well, it’s likely that the new compact Infiniti may sport an Mercedes-Benz engine under its stylish hood, too. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a diesel offering as well.

Infiniti has previously stated that the vehicle would be targeted at European customers, though growing demand for compact cars in the United States could prompt global distribution.


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