Infiniti is likely an unfamiliar brand to the UK consumer. The likelihood is you'll only be aware of the name from seeing it plastered down Sebastian Vettel's sidepods, or you're one of the few people to have noticed an Infiniti FX45 SUV tooling around a town centre.
The upshot is that Infiniti is to Nissan as Lexus is to Toyota - a semi-independent sub-brand used to market and sell move expensive and upmarket vehicles than their perhaps less-fashionably badged parent companies. It's been relatively successful in the USA for a number of years and the brand is starting a push in the UK and Europe.
In the pricing structure announced today, you can get into Infiniti ownership from 27,950. For this you get the 168hp, 2.2 litre diesel Q50 in SE trim. The engine provides 289lbft of torque and returns 64.2mpg (equivalent to 114g/km). For a quick comparison, the equivalent Audi and BMW models are 1k-2k more expensive.
Standard equipment is within a stone's throw of what you'd expect - the cloth seats being a reminder of the fact you're in an entry level car, but with a rear view camera, heated power mirrors, cruise control, halogen headlights, Bluetooth connectivity as standard and a dual zone climate control.
Upgrading to the next step - Premium - will set you back 2,400 for a 30,350 outlay. This includes leather seats - heated in the front - as standard and is liable to be Infiniti's most successful seller.
The next step up is the Sport model, which gets a slightly restyled front for a more aggressive road presence. This 2,370 step also adds powered sport front seats, aluminium pedals, LED auto-levelling headlights, active lane control and magnesium paddle shifters.
Of course there are a number of packs available for all trims to add functionality. The 2,760 Multimedia Pack adds satellite navigation and a 14 speaker Bose audio system, while the Safety Shield Pack adds intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and predictive collision warning for 2,080.
Top of the Q50 ladder is the Hybrid, sporting a 359hp 3.5-litre petrol engine with electric assist. With sports suspension and sports brakes with regenerative braking, the 40,000 hybrid will do the 0-60mph sprint in just over 5s, while returning 45.6mpg (144g/km CO2).
Available from: Orders now, deliveries September 2013
Priced from: 27,950 (2.2 diesel SE)
This is a seriously tricky sector to make inroads into and an effectively unknown brand will struggle to make an impact amongst the big marques and fleet buyers who go with what they know.
It's a small range of cars too, with consumers asked to pick between a 30k diesel and a 40k hybrid, neither of which significantly undercuts offerings from BMW. However, it looks a little different from the German mainstays - and that's nothing if not refreshing.
Though it's unlikely to make too much of a splash amongst the class-leaders, it could provide a bit of a shake-up to a more direct rival - the Lexus IS. The IS hybrid is cheaper and far less expensive to tax but it is significantly slower, so the Q50 hybrid is probably in a different fight - but the diesel Q50 goes right up against the petrol IS and, on paper, looks the better purchase.