The INFINITI QX Sport Inspiration concept SUV was debuted for the first time in North America on November 14. INFINITI also debuted its latest addition to the 2017 Q60 lineup and an industry first engine technology at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
"In a city known for its appreciation for great automotive design and environmental sustainability, INFINITI is delighted to show the new design direction for our future SUVs, as well as the world's first variable compression ratio engine, for the first time in North America," said Roland Krueger, president of INFINITI Motor Company. "We are undergoing a major product offensive based on our strengths in design and innovation, and, as such, are poised to have another record year."
The QX Sport Inspiration hints at a future INFINITI mid-size premium SUV. Some reports suggest that it previews the next generation of the INFINITI QX50, although the company has yet to confirm that.
QX Sport Inspiration
The INFINITI QX Sport Inspiration was revealed for the first time at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show but now, American consumers are getting a closer look. The company says the INFINITI QX Sports Inspiration is an “elegant and powerful expression of progressive SUV design.”
INFINITI says the concept vehicle has an elegant yet powerfully proportioned exterior. Upgrades for this QX Sport Inspiration include a matte grey exterior color and larger, 22-inch wheels in a bronze color with matching brake calipers. The QX Sport Inspiration concept unveiled at the Beijing world premiere earlier this year had smaller, 21-inch wheels.
In the front, a double-arche grille and ‘human-eye’ headlights give the QX Sport Inspiration a distinctive face. The vehicle’s bodyside surfacing is characterized by flowing, sculptural lines and taut, muscular forms. The company says a new interpretation of INFINITI’s hallmark crescent-cut D-pillar highlights the car’s “inherent agility.” In the rear, there are three-dimensional blade shaped taillights.
As for the interior, the color palette is mostly black and white with pops of the hide’s natural tan color. There are also sections in brown leather.
“The QX Sport Inspiration is a statement of intent from INFINITI, showcasing a daring design philosophy and a demonstration of our capabilities in the mid-size SUV segment,” said Krueger.
The concept promises off-road versatility. It has 9.1 inches of ground clearance as well as the “empowering, in-control on-road driving characteristics and cruising comfort that is expected on any INFINITI.”
The concept vehicle is 74.8 inches wide and 181 inches long.
INFINITI has not said what kind of engine is under the QX Sport Inspiration’s hood. Reports suggest, however, that the production version of the vehicle will feature a performance-oriented engine.
Other INFINITI Debuts
Aside from the QX Sport Inspiration SUV, INFINITI also debuted its newest trim for the Q60 lineup and VC-Turbo engine at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The company says the VC-Turbo has the efficiency and endurance of a marathon runner. The VC-Turbo technology uses an advanced multi-link system to seamlessly raise or lower the reach of the pistons, “detecting the car’s driving condition and driver inputs, and instantly selecting the most suitable compression ratio.” It's able to offer any compression ratio between 8:1 and 14:1.
In production form, the VC-Turbo engine is expected to churn out approximately 268 horsepower and 288 lb.-ft. of torque. The company says that's comparable to six-cylinder gasoline powertrains, which the VC-Turbo has beat when it comes to efficiency. The four-cylinder VC-Turbo also vibrates less and is quieter than conventional internal combustion engines. It's lighter and more compact than V6 units with comparable power outputs.
"The arrival of the variable compression ratio engine will establish new benchmarks – for power, efficiency and emissions – against which future powertrains will be measured," the company wrote in a press release.
As for the Q60, it has been completely redesigned for 2017 and represents the third chapter in a lineage of INFINITI sport coupes, starting with the 2003 G35. Updates for 2017 include a trio of all-new advanced turbocharged engines, ride and handling technologies and the latest infotainment and Safety Shield driver assistance systems.
The latest addition to the 2017 Q60 lineup is the Q60 3.0t Sport. The trim falls in between the Q60 3.0t Premium AWD and the Q60 Red Sport 400. It's equipped with the new VR-series 3.0-liter V6 twin turbo engine. It offers 300 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. That's a decent amount more than the base Q60 2.0t, which has a turbocharged inline-four that churns out 208 horsepower. The Q60 3.0t Sport gets a lot of the same components as the range-topping Q60 Red Sport 400 including sport brakes, sport-tuned Dynamic Digital Suspension, carbon fiber interior trim and 19-inch aluminum Alloy wheels. The Q60 3.0t Sport also gets auto dimming outside mirrors and interior ambient lighting as standard. Pricing starts at $49,204 while the all-wheel drive variant starts at $51,205.
If you’re looking to blow away a loved one with a Christmas gift this year, you may want to go with another Q60 option. Neiman Marcus teamed up with INFINITI to create a limited edition version of the sport coupe. It’s featured in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and is based on the range-topping Red Sport 400, which offers 400 horsepower. The whole package retails for $63,000 and comes with an exclusive Gallery White leather weekender bag, Neiman Marcus-branded indoor car cover, letter of authenticity and more.
"INFINITI has a longstanding tradition of design prowess and engineering excellence, and at our core, we stand for empowering the drive of our products," said Randy Parker, vice president of INFINITI Americas. "The QX Sport Inspiration, VC-Turbo engine, Q60 3.0t Sport and the stunning Q60 Neiman Marcus Limited Edition embody the brand's promise to deliver innovative and forward-thinking products and experiences for our customers."
While all the reveals are worthy of a mention, we're, of course, most excited about the QX Sport Inspiration concept. While we can't be sure the production version will be the next generation of the QX50, the concept is about the same size as the QX50 and reports suggest it just makes sense for INFINITI to go that route.
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