The downsizing will help the M's sales on the old continent.
On the European market, the Infiniti M is available with either a 320 horsepower 3.7 gasoline-powered V6 or a 238 horsepower oil-burning V6. The hybrid version of it packs 365 horsepower from a 3.5 V6.
While these figures may seem right at home on the American market, they are a little excessive for most European buyers. Cars there are often taxed based (or at least partly-based) on their engine displacement, and gasoline is several times more expensive.
As a consequence of this, very few Ms have found buyers and Nissan has had quite a hard time developing the brand on the old continent.
Infiniti hopes to change that in 2012 by installing two Mercedes-sourced four-cylinder engines under the M's hood. The first will be the turbocharged 204 horsepower 1.8 found in the C250 CGI; the second is a 170 horsepower 2.1 turbodiesel that currently powers the C220 CDI.
Both versions should be presented at the Geneva Motor Show next March. Infiniti has not yet commented on pricing.
The arrangement is made possible thanks to the cooperation between Daimler and Renault-Nissan. There is talk of closer cooperation for the future, including a small Infiniti hatchback that will use the same platform as the next-generation Mercedes A-Class and make its debut around 2014.
1.'Infiniti M krijgt Mercedes...' view