A report in Autocar magazine, citing Infiniti insiders as source, says it is the premium Japanese brand’s intention to launch a rival for the BMW 1-series and Audi A3. Yet crucially, Infiniti says the body style of its smallest model will be totally different from anything else in the segment.

There’s speculation that the baby of the new Infiniti range could be a small, high-end SUV crossover, fitting in below the EX35 SUV — currently Infiniti’s smallest offering, the report says.

A coupé-cabriolet is also a possibility. Whatever it looks like, this entry model would go on sale in 2010, according to Autocar.

Meanwhile, Infiniti is ready to launch a range of models in the UK from February next year. It’s got modest expectation for the first five years of sales in Europe, but is likely to reinforce a premium appeal with boutique-like showrooms and bespoke customer service, Autocar adds.