Infiniti’s New London Design Studio Aims to Put ‘Romance’ Back into Car Design
Infiniti opened its new automotive design facility in London last night. Based in the Battleship Building at Paddington Basin, Infiniti Design London is the first of a network of global design studios for the company as it gears up for a new-model offensive over the next five years, including an all-new model to be manufactured in the UK. Infiniti plans to expand its premium model range by 60 per cent by the end of the decade.
The new facility will be able to design and make full-size clay models. Infiniti says it is one of very few full-capability automotive design centres around the world to have a city centre location.
The studio occupies space within the Battleship Building, so-called because of the way its superstructure rears up above the surrounding area and the close-by Westway road. The building was completed in 1969 as a maintenance depot for British Rail and is listed as being of historical importance.
“This is the first step of a global initiative to purify and reinforce the distinctiveness of Infiniti design. The next steps are to open Infiniti design studiosin Beijing and San Diego as well shortly,” said Shiro Nakamura (pictured above), chief creative officer of Infiniti and senior vice president of Nissan.
“Infiniti has always been about passion – for design, performance and craftsmanship,” added executive design director, Alfonso Albaisa, said at the opening ceremony of the new studio. ”With our new generation models we want to express all that passion plus a new romanticism – and London is a great place to find the inspiration for it.”
Infiniti plans to unveil a new concept car in two weeks’ at the Paris Motor Show. Designed at the London facility, the concept – called Q80 Inspiration – previews a new top-of-the-range model for Infiniti.
Already more than 10 new Infinitis have been designed in Infiniti’s design studios around the world in the past 18 months. Concept versions of the new “romantic” models will start to appear at upcoming international motor shows.
Infiniti Design London joins other Infiniti facilities in the UK including an engineering centre at Cranfield and assembly plant in Sunderland, which from next year will begin the first Infiniti production in Europe.