Infiniti Brings First US Car To Cuba In 58 Years


Infiniti's new Q60 coupe probably stood out in Havana's streets filled with 1950's American sedans.

Seeing the classic cars that roam thestreets of Cuba is like stepping into a time warp. Disputes between the US governmentand the recently deceased dictator Fidel Castro meant that vintage 1950’sAmerican sedans have become a staple of Cuba’s unique car culture. It’s fair tosay, then, that unleashing a brand-new Infiniti Q60 onto the streets of Havanais going to attract a bit of attention. The arrival of the contemporary coupewas a historic moment, marking the first time a US-spec car has been registeredin Cuba for 58 years.

Infiniti’s design director, Alfonso Albaisa, who grew up in a Cuban exile family in Miami, drove the Q60 around Havana to trace back his family’s roots. This was the first time he had visited his parents’ birthplace.

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The trip gave him an opportunity to admire the architecture of his great uncle, Max Borges-Recio which he believes is the root of his design DNA that can be seen in the curvaceous shapes of Infiniti’s cars. He now resides in Japan overseeing all four of Infiniti’s design studios.The Japanese coupe takes on the likes of the BMW 4 series, available with either a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder or 3.0-liter V6 engine – the fastest model in the range produces 400 hp. No wonder Havana’s residents were in awe. Of course, we may see more modern cars infiltrate Cuba now that its relations with the US has improved. And that would be a shame in a way – classic American cars are so embedded in Cuba's car culture, it's hard to imagine it any other way.