The current Nissan Skyline, also known as the Infiniti Q50, will reportedly survive until 2025, but its successor will be a very different beast.
Japanese outlet Best Car Web reports there are no plans for a replacement Skyline sedan, with the next generation to instead be an electric crossover.
The report follows a recent one that indicated there would be a new Skyline sedan packing the X-Trail’s e-Power with e-4orce electrified powertrain.
The Japanese outlet, however, cites word from a source that Nissan went through three different plans for a next-generation Skyline sedan between 2016 and 2022 and has now frozen development.
It has reportedly instead landed on this very different replacement, to be produced at Nissan’s Tochigi factory which currently produces not only the current Skyline but also the electric Ariya.
Indeed, the 2025 Skyline EV could share its underpinnings with the Ariya crossover.
Based on the CMF-EV architecture, the Ariya is offered with single-motor front-wheel drive and dual-motor e-4ORCE all-wheel drive drivetrains, as well as a choice of 63kWh and 87kWh batteries.
Motor outputs for FWD models with the smaller-capacity battery are 160kW and 300Nm, while with the larger-capacity battery the Ariya single motor develops 178kW/300Nm.
The twin-motor AWD system features a combined output of 250kW/560Nm (65kWh) or 290kW/600Nm (90kWh), with the latter offering a claimed 5.1-second 0-100km/h time.
For reference, the Skyline’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine produces 298kW and 475Nm and has a circa-5 second 0-100km/h time.
The Skyline EV will reportedly be offered in the North American market, where it appears likely it would wear an Infiniti nameplate as the past three generations of Skyline have done.
While this would be the first time the Skyline has offered an electric powertrain, it wouldn’t be the first time it has offered an SUV body.
The first and thus far only generation of Skyline Crossover, as it was called, was simply a rebadged Japanese-market version of the Infiniti EX (later renamed QX50).
Introduced in 2009, it was spun off the rear/all-wheel drive FM platform underpinning the Infiniti G/Nissan Skyline, Infiniti FX and Nissan 370Z, among others, but was shorter than the G sedan.
The next-generation QX50 moved to a front/all-wheel drive platform, and the Skyline Crossover wasn’t replaced in the Japanese market.
While there’s some precedent, then, for a Skyline SUV, there has also been a trend towards automakers using heritage names for new electric models.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E trades on the cachet of Ford’s pony car, Opel is resurrecting the Manta nameplate on an electric crossover, and Renault is reviving the 4 and 5 names for new electric city cars.
The current Q50/Skyline will celebrate its 10th birthday later this year. It’s known as the Skyline in Japan and as the Q50 elsewhere, and wore the latter nameplate in Australia until the Infiniti brand was pulled.
The Skyline is the last sedan remaining in Nissan’s Japanese line-up following the axing of the aged Fuga/Cima (aka Infiniti Q70) last year. Nissan doesn’t sell any of its Chinese or American sedans, like the Altima/Teana, in its home market.
The Q50 is also the last passenger car remaining in Infiniti’s global line-up following the axing of the related Q60 coupe, which wasn’t offered in Japan during this generation.
It’s been 12 months since Infiniti teased what appeared to be an electric fastback it plans to build in the US from 2025, alongside a similarly shaped model from the Nissan brand.
No further news on these products has been forthcoming for the two brands.
Nissan has previously said Infiniti would become “Nissan plus”, though this mightn’t be a return to the old days of transparent rebadges like the Pathfinder-based QX4.
Infiniti has receded from the global stage, and now sells cars only in China, the Middle East and North America.