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Trademark filing suggests Infiniti plans ‘performance line'

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Trademark filing suggests Infiniti plans ‘performance line'

Lindsay Chappell

Automotive News -- May 25, 2010 - 1:50 pm ET

NASHVILLE -- Nissan North America Inc. has taken legal steps to create a performance segment for its Infiniti Division product line, similar to its larger luxury rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Nissan has filed for trademark protection for the names “IPL” and “Infiniti Performance Line,” according to documents on file with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

According to the applications, the IPL trademark would cover the brand's use of “high-performance motor vehicle parts,” including turbochargers and superchargers for engines, cat-back exhaust and muffler systems, shifter knobs, suspension parts, brakes, sports seats and off-road headlights.

A spokesman at Infiniti's North American headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., declined to discuss the trademark filings or the brand's product plans.

This month in Louisville, Ky., the vice president of the Infiniti Business Unit, Ben Poore, told reporters that he intends to reveal a new performance-oriented offering this summer. He did not elaborate.

At the same time, Nissan confirmed that it is considering more use of high-output, small-displacement turbocharged engines for Infiniti.

Infiniti has been at a product disadvantage among luxury brands for years. Older competitors such as Mercedes, BMW and even Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand offer a much broader model line than Infiniti. Additionally, Mercedes markets variations of its models under the AMG performance subbrand, while BMW produces performance-level M versions of some models.

The performance brand options typically retail for a much higher premium. While the 2010 Mercedes S-class sedan has a base manufacturer's list price of $87,950, Mercedes' AMG Web site lists the price of the S63 AMG sedan at $133,550.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100525/OEM/100529899/1280#ixzz0oymVq5oS

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By Andrew Ganz

Earlier this week, Infiniti filed for trademark protection for a sport-oriented term: Infiniti Performance Line and IPL. The filings suggest that Infiniti, which is set to unveil a number of new models later this year, will follow in the footsteps of nearly all of its rivals by having a separate sport-oriented lineup.

The application, found by Automotive News says that the trademarked lineup would focus on “high-performance motor vehicle parts.” The trade journal’s report suggests that IPL-badged vehicles could contain “turbochargers and superchargers for engines, cat-back exhaust and muffler systems, shifter knobs, suspension parts, brakes, sports seats and off-road headlights.” We have to wonder about that last item, although the rest seem like standard equipment for sporty models.

Infiniti told us at the launch of its QX56 in Louisville, Kentucky, that it plans to unveil a high-performance offering later this summer at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California – it now seems likely that Infiniti could also use the spotlight to introduce the Infiniti Performance Line.



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Infiniti Developing 'IPL' Performance Division?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Does Infiniti dare take on the likes of BMW's M, Mercedes-Benz's AMG, and Audi's S/RS/quattro? Probably not immediately, but recent reports indicate that something performance-minded is going on at Nissan's luxury brand. Infiniti has begun the process of establishing IPL, or the Infiniti Performance Line.

IPL is likely to be much like Nismo, providing sport suspensions, spoilers, seats, and shift knobs. For those wanting more (like a supercharged M luxo-barge), there's some light at the end of the tunnel. According to the filings, Infiniti's high-performance division may work to develop supercharger / turbocharger applications.

Any possible vehicles are up in the air, but what if Infiniti finally had a premium flagship like the Essence (or M45 coupe)? What about a turbocharged G37? A performance M3 / RS4 competitor would be awesome, as long as they don't over-juice the styling like Lexus's IS-F. And for the love of God, don't have the thing wearing fake exhaust tips.



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