LONDON -- Infiniti's Q30 compact car will be powered by Mercedes-Benz engines, a source familiar with the matter said.
The Q30 will offer two Mercedes gasoline engines, the source said. The engines are likely to be the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter units that Mercedes uses in its A-class compact car.
The Q30 is based on Mercedes’s MFA front-wheel-drive compact architecture that also underpins the A class.
Infiniti on Tuesday released a picture of the Q30, which will go on sale in Europe toward the end of the year with other world markets following next year.
The company did not give details of the engines.
The picture shows that the Q30 will likely have a third Mercedes-sourced engine, a diesel currently offered with the midsize Q50 sedan. The engine is badged 2.2-liter in the picture but is the same 2.1-liter unit also used in the A class.
The Q30 will also get a 1.5-liter diesel from Renault, the source said.
The engine sharing deepens the partnership between the Nissan-Renault alliance and Mercedes parent Daimler, which began in 2010 and now covers 13 joint projects.
The Q30 development project also will yield a crossover version called the QX30 that will go on sale next summer.
Infiniti is launching the Q30 and QX30 to tap into growing demand for smaller premium cars, especially in Europe, and to help the brand to draw younger buyers.
Infiniti will release details of the Q30’s specifications when the car debuts at the Frankfurt auto show on September 15. The production Q30 is similar to the concept that Infiniti unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in 2013.
Infiniti President Roland Krueger said in a statement that the Q30's distinctive design and dynamic driving will make the brand's first compact car stand out from rivals.
Infiniti expects the Q30 and QX30 to give the brand a major boost in Europe, the main market for the two cars. So far Infiniti has struggled to draw sales away from the mainstream German premium brands. Infiniti sold 2,310 units in Europe through May, up 56 percent on the same period in 2014, according to market researcher JATO Dynamics.
The Q30 and QX30 will be built at Nissan’s plant in Sunderland, England, where Infiniti has an annual production capacity of 60,000 units for the cars. Half of the production will go to Europe with the rest exported to global markets including the U.S. and China. Infiniti is not expected to offer diesel versions in the U.S. and China.
Infiniti's Europe boss, Francois Goupil De Bouille told Automotive News Europe that the Q30's design is “polarizing.”
“We’ll have some customers that love it and other customers that reject it, but that is what we want,” he said in an interview published in the March.