Infiniti Wants Panamera Rival Because They Listen To Sebastian Vettel

Remember the Infiniti Q45? Of course you do. You may also remember how it pretty much vanished without a trace several years ago while Infiniti concentrated on its successful models lower down the food chain. But it could be coming back soon, inspired by the Porsche Panamera and Sebastian Vettel.

Autocar reports that a flagship Infiniti could be called Q100, which comes from the F1 car Vettel drives around. As Infiniti's "Director of Performance," Vettel is the person who's going around approving their cars to make sure they're up to his driving standards.

Personally, recent Infinitis have been fine to drive, thanks to lots of power and good rear-wheel drive setups. The problem I see comes from their douchey image and blobby styling – the Q30 Concept is a prime example. That's why it's troubling to read that the future Q45-style range topper could actually become a fast-but-blobby mess in the style of the not-subtle and inelegant (but very fast) Porsche Panamera.

Oh, it's going to be fast because Sebastian is doing the performance advising. And it might even be based on a Mercedes. If it's a hatchback like the Panamera, we can cut it a little slack, right? It's a shame, though, that Infiniti doesn't feel compelled to design something that's rather handsome like the original, grille-less Q45.

Any range-topping Infiniti isn't due for probably five more years, according to Infiniti VP Andy Palmer, so it might be too early to get overly concerned about their car being inspired by one of the most polarizing designs in recent history. But Palmer told Autocar something strange:


"We won't do a Mercedes S-class," said Palmer. "We want a flagship that's appealing and different."

Different like mimicking one of Porsche's biggest sellers? Yeah, that's different.

Jump in, Sebastian. They'll listen to you!

Photos: Infiniti, Porsche