Vettel begins testing of Infiniti's upcoming compact

F1 driver Sebastian Vettel has begun testing Infiniti\'s upcoming compact vehicle.

Infiniti has begun shakedown testing of its upcoming compact luxury vehicle based on the Etherea concept at the famous Circuit Paul Ricard in France.

Testing of the new vehicle is being led by Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel. Vettel, a three time F1 world champion, was named Director of Performance for Infiniti earlier this year.

"As new Infiniti cars are created, it is really important for us to develop them with their own consistent driving style, so it has been really useful to be able to drive so many cars hard and back-to-back on the same track,” said Vettel. "Similar to Formula One cars, it's interesting to feel how different cars are configured for steering response and braking as well as driver assistance features like ESP and Traction Control. Getting these things right is what makes a good car great.”

Since joining the Infiniti family in 2011, Vettel has had a hand in developing the FX Vettel Edition and Q50 sedan.

Infiniti's upcoming compact vehicle will be produced at Nissan's Sunderland, UK, plant beginning in 2015, but not much else is known about the vehicle. However, it is believed that the road-going Etherea will ride on a version of the front-wheel drive platform that underpins the Mercedes-Benz B-Class.

It remains unknown if Infiniti has any plans to sell the compact car in the United States.

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