Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #89

Okay. This is it. We made it through the terrible 1980s. Last year. I had a hard time deciding which car introduced in 1989 would make the cut, as there were several models illustrative of the time period. Since they would define the early part of the 1990s, though, I left them off in favor of this:

1989 Infinity Q45. While the Audi/VW duo had been around for years, and even Acura had split off from Honda as the marque's luxury brand, it was the launch of the Infinity line that really sparked the badge engineering wars. While GM/Ford/Mopar had done it for decades, Japanese automakers had largely ignored the concept.

With the Infinity, though, the rules had changed. Nissan upped the game to improve on the already established Maxima to include a previously unheard of 8-cylinder engine. Toyota would launch the Lexus brand, and for the next generation a race was on between the two manufacturers to see whose upscale model would entice more buyers from Mercedes and BMW.

In a sense, it was very good for the automotive industry, especially for luxury marques. Looking at the Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Chryslers of the time (dear lord, the New Yorker was based off the gorram K-CAR...), the 1980s were an abyss for American luxury. It would take well into the 2000s before the American industry responded.

And next week, we begin the tepid '90s...

That is all.


libertyman said...

That Infinity reminds me of an Oldsmobile.
And it is just as boring.

Old NFO said...

I remember that none of us knew what the hell they were...LOL

Joel said...

Worst Marquis Launch Ever.

I went to work for Nissan about ten years later, and it was still an embarrassment. The ad campaign was incoherent, but whatever it was promising wasn't delivered in the raucous, overpowered underengineered car with the tinny door handles and the most boring front clip ever. Lexus ate their lunch and just never stopped doing that.