The Infiniti QX50 Concept made its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show to preview the luxury brand’s upcoming mid-sized crossover.
The concept was partially revealed before, but more details have been released. Here are five things you should know:
1. It’s Super Stylish
Although the Infiniti QX50 Concept may look slick, the main draw of the upcoming SUV will be the technology. The design is an evolution of a concept car that debuted last year called the QX Sport Inspiration, so this one is closer to a production-ready look. When the next-generation QX50 comes out, don’t be surprised if it looks almost identical to this swoopy concept.
With its clean and muscular exterior design, wide stance, a powerful grille and nice proportions, the QX50 Sport Concept is the latest car to adopt Infiniti’s “Powerful Elegance” design language. The paint used has a beautiful sheen because it uses three times the amount of metal flake than regular paint, but it’s unclear if it will carry over to the production car.
2. It Has a High-Tech Engine
But again, style isn’t the big news here. When the QX50 arrives, it will likely be the first Infiniti with the brand’s new and hyped-up variable compression turbocharged engine, a world first. In the Infiniti QX50 Concept, the engine is well suited to the crossover’s size and front-biased all-wheel-drive system. Simply put, this new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine automatically adapts to different driving conditions to offer optimized power and efficiency as an alternative to a diesel engine.
The secret is that the engine’s compression ratio isn’t fixed like other engines. Typically, lower compression ratios are used in high-performance engines, and high-compression ratios are often used for high efficiency — this new engine can apparently do both.
When the engine debuts in a production car in 2018, Infiniti is promising V6-level power with the efficiency of a four-cylinder — the company says it will be up to 27 percent more efficient than other V6s with a similar power output.
3. Its Interior Is Lovely
The interior of the Infiniti QX50 Concept is just as stylish as the exterior, and thankfully, Infiniti promises that the style won’t come at the expense of functionality — the interior will be spacious and visibility for the driver and passengers won’t be obstructed. Infiniti is also promising a generous cargo capacity.
ALSO SEE: Full 2017 Detroit Auto Show Coverage
With white leather covering the three-tone seats and door panels that have an interesting quilting pattern sewn into them, the interior looks modern and inviting. Infiniti says authentic, premium materials and different textures (open-pore wood, for example) are used throughout and put together in a way that makes it feel handmade.
Infiniti is using this concept to show that it will soon be expanding how customers can configure their interiors. The concept also previews a new infotainment system and interface that is highlighted by a wide touchscreen.
4. It Will Have Autonomous Driving Technology
The Infiniti QX50 Concept is also showing all the advancements the brand has made with autonomous driving technology. Infiniti is quick to point out that its system will take a proactive approach to autonomous driving that focuses on safety so that a driver always retains most of the control.
Infiniti already has an advanced driver assistant and safety technology and this new package improves on that. Using a network of lasers, radar, and cameras, the system will monitor the vehicle’s surroundings and enable the car to respond accordingly. This system is being developed for production cars.
5. It’s Not Just a Crazy Concept
The Infiniti QX50 Concept previews the next-generation QX50, which should debut in production form sometime in early 2018. When it arrives, the mid-sized QX50 should compete against luxury crossovers like the BMW X5, Cadillac XT5, and Lexus RX. Infiniti is known for making true-to-concept production cars, and typically don’t let people down by debuting a production car that’s terribly toned down compared to the concept. When the production car arrives, it would be safe to assume that it will look just like this concept. In fact, Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti executive design director, confirmed that almost 90 percent of the exterior design will carry over to the production model and even the interior is pretty close.
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