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There are few things that highlight Nissan’s obsession with Toyota-watching than its plans to launch a luxury sales’ channel in the late 1980s for the US in response to its rival’s Lexus brand. Infiniti was announced virtually at the same time as Lexus, with a new flagship (based on the domestic-market Nissan President (HG50)), and a rebadged version of the Leopard. The line-up eventually grew to include various other Nissan models with plusher trim, usually of models not sold in North America. By the beginning of the 2000s, Infiniti had not been as successful as Lexus, but launched new models that put it back on the map, including an SUV, the FX, which found service as an Infiniti first, a Nissan later.

q.v. Nissan


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