Infiniti – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:07:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 10 Questions With Hirohisa Ono, Director of Infiniti Design http://www.automobilemag.com/news/10-questions-hirohisa-ono-director-infiniti-design/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/10-questions-hirohisa-ono-director-infiniti-design/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:00:09 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1152375 Hirohisa Ono has been the director of Infiniti Design at the Nissan Design America studio in San Diego, California for a little over a year. Part of the team that helped bring the R35 Nissan GT-R to life, Ono-san was the driving force behind the exterior design of the Infiniti QX30, the luxury brand’s newest...

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Hirohisa Ono has been the director of Infiniti Design at the Nissan Design America studio in San Diego, California for a little over a year. Part of the team that helped bring the R35 Nissan GT-R to life, Ono-san was the driving force behind the exterior design of the Infiniti QX30, the luxury brand’s newest compact crossover and one of our Four Seasons vehicles. We had the chance to sit down with Ono last week at the 2017 New York auto show, where we asked him 10 questions about how he approaches the design process, his inspirations, and his fascination with tires.

Automobile Magazine: When you’re designing a sports car like the GT-R, is your approach different than when you’re designing something more utilitarian like the compact QX30?

Hirohisa Ono: Oh, yeah, good question. So, I first sketched the GT-R in 2003. Personally I love the GT-R. The GT-R is so Japan. Like the [Ferrari] GTO in Italy, everybody in Japan now knows the GT-R. I really did have to think about it: ‘What is the GT-R?’ So, I thought, Japan is so associated with the Samurai. The stature of the Samurai is very specific, very historical. I did a lot of research about the attitude of the Samurai. I tried to be very true to that in the lines and shapes of the GT-R. I also love the Samurai sword. The GT-R mirrors that with a very nice long, crisp bodyline [Ono-san sweeps his hand elegantly through the air as though recreating the lines of his original sketches]. I tried to always consider that Samurai way, especially on the top of the sports car. So when I did my sketches and my clay work, I always thought about these components.

For the QX30, now this was in 2010 for Nissan Design America, the approach was different. I did research on Infiniti’s historical design. I felt Infiniti design required a more emotional execution. This was about luxury. It wasn’t about just straight lines on a compact car. So I tried to make it elegant and emotional and also muscular, because it’s still a utility vehicle.

AM: Do you have a personal design signature, something that you try to incorporate in every one of the cars you design?

HO: Firstly, one has to understand both the Infiniti and Nissan design direction. That’s the most important part. Of course I bring myself into the equation by using my heart to design, but the first priority is to understand the company’s goal. Of course, somehow my small personal indicators make their way into the final design, but there is not one specific thing, no.

AM: How much are you influenced by design outside of the automotive world, for example architecture, art, dance, etc.?

HO: I love movies. Also, I like furniture. Interiors have many textures, so fashion is a big influence. I’m from Japan, but I love going to other countries to study their culture. I love China. The people I meet inspire me. As a designer it’s very important to understand what people are looking for, what the customer desires, what the customer needs. Every finished product is very inspired from other places.

AM: How do you know when a vehicle is finished?

HO: Well, with the QX30, I knew it was done, done, done! I started with drawing on paper, sketching the original shapes. Then we moved to a scale model and got into deep discussions with the engineer. We moved to a full-size clay model. At every step of the way we communicate in detail with the entire team, so we know what we need to make. It’s not just the beautiful shape, but it needs the nice touches with excellent technology. The two work so closely together. It’s everything.

AM: Speaking of, how closely do you work with the engineers? How much do mechanical specifications dictate your design?

HO: It’s so connected. We use clay of course, but we also use 3D-modeling. 3D is beautiful! By using the 3D data, we can communicate more effectively with the engineers. They check the clay size of each section — from the entire package to the headlamps. Also, we have to accommodate for each individual supplier. We’re trying to get the most innovating technology into the final package, so everything has to be exact, perfect. This is a very collaborative process.

2017 Nissan GT R Track Edition front three quarter 05

AM: How do you feel about aftermarket products, especially on something like the GT-R? There are a lot of people out there modifying your car. Is that flattering? Or do you think they’re messing with perfection?

HO: As a designer, for me, I try to perfect the vehicle for the customer. At the same time, I’m also a car guy. I love the “Fast and Furious” movies! I know every driver is unique. Some want more horsepower, bigger horsepower, bigger spoilers. That’s great. But, I have to admit, I feel like the original is much better.

AM: We tend to agree with you! [Much laughter]

AM: A lot of what went into the original QX30 concept vehicle first shown at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance made it into the final production version of the car. How much of your original design concepts do you try and keep, and what are your constraints?

HO: That is also a great question. And I appreciate your comment about the QX30. With concept to production, we try to stay as honest as we’re able. We want that consistency. For me, it’s almost like the same execution. Again, engineering and design speak honestly with each other. We have a very deep, common interest. The concept of the car is already there, so we have to find a way to get it into production. Also, the communications and marketing team become a factor. They are very helpful for us when it comes to getting a car out to the public.

AM: How do you see autonomous driving impacting your approach to design in the future?

HO: Another great question [we really like this guy]. That’s going to be an important thing to think about with the next phase of design philosophy and communication. We have things we’re doing now, but I cannot say too much.

AM: No, of course not. Top secret!

2017 Infiniti QX30 cabin 04

HO: I think every car will have more of an interactive design. That’s how the next generation is. It’s what they’re interested in. Safety will be important, too.

AM: If you didn’t design cars what else would you be doing?

HO: I have no idea! When I was a kid, I had cars in my room. I don’t know anything else!

AM: Would you want to be a race car driver? A fireman?

HO: [Laughing] No, no, no. That’s a great one, though. I don’t know. I’m happy doing what I do!

AM: So you wouldn’t want to be a pop star?

HO: [More laughing] No! But I love tires!

AM: You love tires?

HO: I love tires. I have no idea why!

AM: Okay, so maybe a tire salesman! That’s awesome.

HO: Also, I like movies, too.

AM: Oh, so the next action hero!

HO: [Laughing] NO!

AM: Okay, you’re very content doing what you do. We actually love that answer. So, final question, what’s your daily driver?

HO: Oh, I drive the Q60 coupe. I love to drive. I love that car. It’s a good car. White leather interior, I so enjoy it.

AM: Wonderful! Thank you Ono-san, we look forward to seeing what’s next from Infiniti and your team at Nissan Design America.

2017 Infiniti QX30 front three quarter 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 exterior detail 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 front end 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 front end 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 grille 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 instrument panel 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear end 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 seats 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 exterior detail 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 grille 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 side profile 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 interior detail 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 cargo space 04 2017 Infiniti QX30 cargo space 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 cabin 08 2017 Infiniti QX30 cabin 07 2017 Infiniti QX30 cabin 06 2017 Infiniti QX30 wheel 04 2017 Infiniti QX30 wheel 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 wheel 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 wheel 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 tail lamp 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 tail lamp 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 side profile 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 side profile 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 shifter 2017 Infiniti QX30 seats 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 seats 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 seats 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 seat detail 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 seat detail 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear three quarter in motion 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear three quarter 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear three quarter 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear seat 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear seat 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear end detail 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 rear end 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 menu selection knob 2017 Infiniti QX30 interior detail 2017 Infiniti QX30 interior detail 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 instrument panel 2017 Infiniti QX30 infotainment 2017 Infiniti QX30 infotainment 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 headlamp 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 headlamp 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 grille 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 grille 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 grille 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 front three quarter in motion 01

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Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept is Infiniti’s Full-Size SUV Future http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-qx80-monograph-concept/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-qx80-monograph-concept/#respond Tue, 11 Apr 2017 21:30:16 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1149924 The primary definition of the noun monograph is the study of a singular subject or an aspect of it by a scholar. Infiniti’s design scholars at its Atsugi, Japan, studio have been busy studying a singular subject of their own, in this case a vision of what brand’s largest SUV could look like in the...

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The primary definition of the noun monograph is the study of a singular subject or an aspect of it by a scholar. Infiniti’s design scholars at its Atsugi, Japan, studio have been busy studying a singular subject of their own, in this case a vision of what brand’s largest SUV could look like in the future. The fruit of their scholarly pursuit is the Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept Infiniti officially revealed on the eve of the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

While there has been a proliferation of crossovers with three row capability in recent years (including its own QX60), Infiniti’s QX80 is one of the only true full-size, three-row luxury SUVs on the market. With the QX80 Monograph, the brand is sending a pretty clear signal that it intends to produce a next-generation model that will be much more expressive in appearance. It will also apparently be a little less of a monolith: at roughly 197 inches the Monograph is more than 11 inches shorter than the present QX80, though at about 79 inches tall it’s about three inches higher (if you don’t count the roof rails).

Infiniti QX80 Monograph front end

As far as design exercises go, the QX80 Monograph, which is sprayed in Infiniti’s frosted-look satin finish, is sort of a reverse mullet: most of the party’s up front. It sports a powerful, aggressive (and busy) face, highlighted by a taller and wider version of the brand’s double-arched grille with an abstract mesh look. A new take on Infiniti’s so-called “human eye” headlamps are punctuated by LED piano key elements (they look more like eyelashes to us). They’re topped by razor-thin light banks that extend well into the front fenders, terminating at trick, fender-mounted side view cameras that retract when not in use (the vehicle’s door handles retract as well). Given its larger grille, the headlights seem a bit pinched, but they definitely add to the more aggressive (if squinty) feel.

More defined character lines, particularly the shoulder line that starts at the grille and extends the length of the vehicle, make the QX80 Monograph appear longer than it actually is. Framing the lower part of the front fascia is a slotted, double chin bumper of sorts as well as vents on each end. It’s trimmed with a horizontal aluminum piece and thin LED fog lamps. Rounding out the lower portion of the front end is an aluminum skid plate that lends the vehicle a more rugged appearance.

Infiniti QX80 Monograph side

The present QX80 is powered by a 5.6-liter V-8 with 400 horsepower. While Infiniti is predictably mum on the Monograph’s powertrain details, we wouldn’t be shocked if the next generation QX80 came with a version of the brand’s 3.0-liter twin turbo V-6 under its massive hood, which on the Monograph is punctuated by sharp creases that help frame the grille.

The most striking aspect of the QX80 Monograph to us is its slick greenhouse, featuring A-pillars that sit flush with the side windows in an effort to reduce drag and wind noise. Combined with its blacked-out B and C-pillars, it gives the SUV an impressive pillar-less look punctuated by a D-pillar that cuts a crescent shape into the back quarter. It’s a more dramatic theme befitting the brand’s bold, futuristic approach.

It wouldn’t be a concept without a set of galactically huge wheels, and the eight spoke 24-inch rims, finished in chromium black with brushed copper accents, more than fit the bill. Additionally, the outer edges of the rims overlap the low profile tires in a way that lend it more of a 26-inch appearance. (The present QX80 comes with 20-inch wheels standard, with 22-inchers optional.) Rounding out the profile view are fender bulges front and rear, a hockey stick style element punctuated by a stroked version of Infiniti’s signature fender vent, and a lower chrome sill piece that’s part of a motorized step-up feature.

Infiniti QX80 Monograph front three quarter

The shape of the rear isn’t much changed from the QX80, but there are several subtle elements that lend it a more of an elegant and streamlined posterior—even if it’s only an illusion. Sharper, thinner taillights are similar to the headlights in appearance and are connected by a chrome piece. The Monograph’s dual, rectangular exhaust ports frame a gloss black airfoil designed to improve aerodynamics, the same goes for the spoiler at the top rear of the vehicle. Further aiding overall airflow are outlets aft of the front and rear wheels and an underbody piece that’s also designed to protect the vehicle. More defined horizontal lines in the bumper and a chrome piece that tops the exhaust ports lend it a leaner, wider stance.

It all adds up to a look that Infiniti’s head of design Alfonso Albaisa calls “part Rodin’s Thinker, part Michelangelo.” While we don’t expect the QX80 Monograph to be ever hanging up in the Louvre, and we find a few of its details a bit overwrought, it’s certainly a more expressive design than the present vehicle. We’ll be interested to see how much carries over to the next QX80.

Infiniti QX80 Monograph exterior details 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph rear end Infiniti QX80 Monograph exterior details 03 Infiniti QX80 Monograph rear exterior details Infiniti QX80 Monograph front grille Infiniti QX80 Monograph rear three quarter 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph rear three quarter 03 Infiniti QX80 Monograph rear three quarter 04 Infiniti QX80 Monograph grille Infiniti QX80 Monograph taillight 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph headlamp Infiniti QX80 Monograph taillight Infiniti QX80 Monograph tailpipe Infiniti QX80 Monograph rear badge Infiniti QX80 Monograph headlight Infiniti QX80 Monograph wheels Inifniti QX80 Monograph 12 Inifniti QX80 Monograph 09 Inifniti QX80 Monograph 10 Inifniti QX80 Monograph 11 Inifniti QX80 Monograph 03 Inifniti QX80 Monograph 06 Inifniti QX80 Monograph 07 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept wheel caliper Inifniti QX80 Monograph 05 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept headlight 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept tail light 01 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept roof detail Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept headlight 01 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept wheel Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept running board Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept grille Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept tail light 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept grille detail Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail 08 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail 07 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail 05 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail 04 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept side profile Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept front three quarter 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept rear view Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept front end detail Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept plate cover Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept badge 02 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept front three quarter 01 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept exterior detail 03 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept rear three quarter 01 Infiniti QX80 Monograph concept badge 01

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Infiniti QX80 Monograph Previews Future Design for Large SUV http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-qx80-monograph-previews-sleek-new-design-full-size-suv/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-qx80-monograph-previews-sleek-new-design-full-size-suv/#respond Mon, 10 Apr 2017 16:00:42 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1148714 Never a wallflower, the Infiniti QX80 is as flashy on the outside as it is powerful on the inside. The automaker has kept, but refined, the QX80’s boxy design in a concept destined to premiere at the New York auto show next week. The Infiniti QX80 Monograph shows off a taller and wider grille as well...

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Never a wallflower, the Infiniti QX80 is as flashy on the outside as it is powerful on the inside. The automaker has kept, but refined, the QX80’s boxy design in a concept destined to premiere at the New York auto show next week.

The Infiniti QX80 Monograph shows off a taller and wider grille as well as slimmer headlights with a unique lighting signature. With these style updates, the QX80 Monograph looks a lot like the QX50 concept, which debuted at the Detroit auto show earlier this year. Infiniti hinted that a production QX50 would stay true to the concept, so we could see many of these shared front design elements on a production QX80 as well.

The QX80’s crescent-cut D-pillar has been reshaped to give the vehicle a more athletic stance. A wrap-around window emphasizes the angular shape of the large SUV.

A product of the automaker’s design studio in Atsugi, Japan, the model serves as a study that will likely be used to gauge public reaction to the new styling. The automaker says the QX80 Monograph “illustrates how the design of Infiniti’s QX80 could evolve.”

The Infiniti QX80 Monograph will debut April 11 ahead of the New York auto show.

Infiniti New York auto show 2017 teaser 2017 QX80 Signature Edition 2014 Infiniti QX80 left front 1 2015 Infiniti QX80 front side view 2 2017 QX80 Signature Edition Rear 2017 QX80 Signature Edition Interior 2015 Infiniti QX80 interior 2015 Infiniti QX80 rear side view

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Infiniti Turns up the Volume with New Sport Exhaust Kit for 2017 Q50, Q60 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-infiniti-q50-q60-sport-exhaust-kit/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-infiniti-q50-q60-sport-exhaust-kit/#respond Wed, 05 Apr 2017 23:00:54 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1147940 Fake exhaust pipes these are not. Infiniti released a new sport exhaust kit for the Q60 coupe and Q50 sedan that promises a more robust sound and reduced weight. The stainless-steel pipes can be installed in place of the existing exhaust systems without any additional modifications. The OEM aftermarket exhaust kit spices up the engine sound...

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Fake exhaust pipes these are not. Infiniti released a new sport exhaust kit for the Q60 coupe and Q50 sedan that promises a more robust sound and reduced weight. The stainless-steel pipes can be installed in place of the existing exhaust systems without any additional modifications.

The OEM aftermarket exhaust kit spices up the engine sound of both Infiniti models, providing a more robust snarl and a raspier idle. The chrome tips should spruce up the rear’s visual appeal as well. Despite the additional theatrical presence, Infiniti made no mention of any power gains.

2017 Infiniti Q60 Sport Exhaust

The sport exhaust kit is available for every variant of the Q50 and Q60, including the 400-horsepower Red Sport 400. All gas-only Q50 and Q60 versions use a turbocharged engines (the Q50 Hybrid is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6), and given that turbocharging tends to subdue exhaust noise, drivers should welcome the option for a deeper and throatier note.

Additionally, Infiniti says the kits are 16 pounds lighter than the stock exhaust setup when fitted with a muffler, while a muffled setup, currently available for the Q50 (the Q60’s muffled kit is coming later this year), will still reduce weight by 9 pounds.

Cost of entry is $589 for a muffler-less kit and $681 for the Q50’s muffler-free one. They fit the 2016 and 2017 Q50 and 2017 Q60.

2017 Infiniti Q50 3 2017 Infiniti Q50 3 2017 Infiniti Q50 3 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender front three quarter in motion 01 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender rear three quarter in motion 03 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 side 02 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 interior view 02 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 interior

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2017 All Stars Contender: Infiniti Q60 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-q60-2017-all-stars-contender/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-q60-2017-all-stars-contender/#respond Tue, 07 Mar 2017 15:00:36 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1124837 The artist formerly known as the Infiniti G37 hit 2016 in all-new form aiming to make a statement. It’s most fearsome version, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400, packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque good for a roughly 4.5-second 0-60 mph, based on an-tested sprint posted by...

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The artist formerly known as the Infiniti G37 hit 2016 in all-new form aiming to make a statement. It’s most fearsome version, the 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400, packs a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque good for a roughly 4.5-second 0-60 mph, based on an-tested sprint posted by the closely-related Q50 Red Sport 400 sedan in the hands of our friends at Motor Trend.

Infiniti made sure to send us an example armed to the teeth with technology. Adaptive cruise control, lane control, blind spot intervention, 360-degree camera, and backup collision intervention are just a sampling of what’s included in the $1,850 technology package and $2,250 driver assistance package. Also included was the $2,250 premium plus package that adds Infiniti’s InTouch navigation system, heated front seats and steering wheel, and Infiniti’s Direct Adaptive Steering steer-by-wire technology, which added another $1,000 to the total. Throw in another $800 for the sexy red paint and you arrive at the $60,355 as-tested price.

Despite the bevy of tech, our judges focused their eyes on other aspects of the sports coupe.

News editor Conner Golden was fond what he saw. “I’m a huge fan of Infiniti’s styling direction, especially in the case of the Q60. It’s a well-sculpted two-door, and is as distinctive now as the G35 coupe was back in the early 2000s.”

Contributor Nelson Ireson was pithier with his thoughts, describing the Q60 as “comfortable and blazingly quick on the street,” while features editor Rory Jurnecka called it “a small, racy looking two-door that would be easy to live with and delivers a compelling package to your average buyer.”

Was Jurnecka’s damnation with faint praise a common theme or an outlier on the way to the Q60’s journey home with an All-Stars trophy? Come back on March 11 to find out.

Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender rear three quarter in motion 01

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $52,205/$60,355 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 3.0L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6
400 hp @ 6,400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 1,600-5,200 rpm
TRANSMISSION 7-speed automatic
LAYOUT 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE 20/27 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 184.4 x 72.8 x 54.5 in
WHEELBASE 112.2 in
WEIGHT 3,862 lb
0-60 MPH 4.5 sec (est)
TOP SPEED 155 mph
Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender front three quarter in motion 01 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender front view in motion Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender side profile Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender side profile in motion Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender rear three quarter in motion Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender front three quarter in motion 04 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender rear three quarter in motion 03 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender front three quarter in motion 02 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender rear three quarter in motion 02 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 2017 All Stars Contender front three quarter in motion 03

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2018 Infiniti Q50, Q60-Based Concept Coming to Geneva http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-q60-based-concept-headed-to-geneva-alongside-2018-q50/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-q60-based-concept-headed-to-geneva-alongside-2018-q50/#respond Fri, 03 Mar 2017 17:04:03 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1122408 The 2018 Infiniti Q50 will debut in Geneva with a host of updates, including a second-generation steer-by-wire system. Also coming to Geneva is the Project Black S, which Infiniti calls “a radical reinterpretation” of the Q60. The refreshed Q50 comes with an updated version of Infiniti’s steer-by-wire technology known as Direct Adaptive Steering. For the...

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The 2018 Infiniti Q50 will debut in Geneva with a host of updates, including a second-generation steer-by-wire system. Also coming to Geneva is the Project Black S, which Infiniti calls “a radical reinterpretation” of the Q60.

The refreshed Q50 comes with an updated version of Infiniti’s steer-by-wire technology known as Direct Adaptive Steering. For the first time, a suite of autonomous technologies will be packaged under the new ProPILOT Assist banner. Infiniti has also redesigned the headlights, put in slimmer rear combination lamps, and created Sport packages with revised bumpers and wider intakes, reports Automotive News.

2018 Infiniti Q50 Euro Spec front end 1 2018 Infiniti Q50 Euro Spec grille 2018 Infiniti Q50 Euro Spec wheels 2018 Infiniti Q50 Euro Spec taillight

In collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Infiniti has created the Project Black S based on the Q60 coupe. The model previews Formula 1-inspired hybrid technology that could eventually make its way to a production road car. With this new KERS-like powertrain, energy recovered through braking helps increase the car’s power and torque, providing for instant acceleration.

Along with its new energy recovery system, the Project Black S is expected to gain unique athletic and aerodynamic design elements. Infiniti says it will study the public’s reaction toward the Geneva model to determine whether to offer a new performance model line in the future.

2018 Infiniti Q50 Euro Spec rear three quarter 2018 Infiniti Q50 Euro Spec interior 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec tailpipe 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec wheel details 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec tailpipe details 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec taillight details 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec stitching details 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec steering wheel controls 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec steering wheel controls 03 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec steering wheel controls 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec side 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec side in motion 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec side 04 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec side 03 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec side 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear three quarter turn 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear three quarter 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear three quarter 03 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear three quarter 04 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear three quarter in motion 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear three quarter in motion 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear taillight 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear interior 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear interior view 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear end 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear end static 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec quarter panel details 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear badge 03 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear badge 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear end 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec rear end static 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec interior dashboard 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec headlamp 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec interior door panel 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec interior leather details 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec interior view 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec interior 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec grille 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec grille details 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec grille details 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec grille badge 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec Geneva debut 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter in motion 03 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter in motion 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter turn 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front wheels 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter in motion 02 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter 06 2018 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 Euro Spec front three quarter 03

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2017 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Signature Edition is a Fancy Popular Equipment Package http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-infiniti-q50-3-0t-signature-edition-fancy-popular-equipment-package/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-infiniti-q50-3-0t-signature-edition-fancy-popular-equipment-package/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 12:00:10 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1106652 Usually when an automaker decides to group several popular features, they roll out a new options package and call it a solid. But sometimes, a further step is justified — at least in the eyes of the automaker’s marketing department — as is the case with the new 2017 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Signature Edition that...

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Usually when an automaker decides to group several popular features, they roll out a new options package and call it a solid. But sometimes, a further step is justified — at least in the eyes of the automaker’s marketing department — as is the case with the new 2017 Infiniti Q50 3.0t Signature Edition that will be unveiled at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show as well as the returning QX80 Signature Edition.

Each Q50 Signature Edition is powered by the new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that made its debut in the Q60 coupe. Power is unchanged from 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is sent to either the rear or all four wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Visually, you’ll have a tough time differentiating the Signature Edition it from the rest of the Q50 lineup. Aside from a new darker color for the alloy wheels, the Signature Edition is cosmetically identical to the majority of the Q50 lineup. Essentially, the Signature Edition streamlines available equipment and packages it under a new trim level. Each Signature Edition arrives with a moonroof, navigation system, and the aforementioned alloy wheels.

2017 QX80 Signature Edition

If you’re looking for something a bit bigger, the QX80 Signature Edition returns for a second model year. Like the Q50, the QX80 Signature Edition coalesces existing options into a buyer-friendly package.

Infiniti is starting Q50 Signature Edition pricing at $39,605 for the rear-wheel drive model and $41,605 for the all-wheel-drive variant, including destination. Pricing for the 2017 Infiniti QX80 Signature Edition will be available later this year.

2017 Infiniti Q50 3 2017 Infiniti Q50 3 2017 Infiniti Q50 3 2017 QX80 Signature Edition Rear 2017 QX80 Signature Edition Interior 2017 QX80 Signature Edition

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Four Seasons 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport Introduction http://www.automobilemag.com/news/four-seasons-2017-infiniti-qx30-sport/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/four-seasons-2017-infiniti-qx30-sport/#respond Fri, 03 Feb 2017 15:35:45 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1102846 Infiniti has taken the heart and bones of a Mercedes-Benz compact SUV and used them to make a cooler crossover. Really. If you line up the 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport with a recently redesigned 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA, with which it shares an engine, platform, and interior, the Infiniti is the sexier SUV. Infiniti’s curvy crossover looks...

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Infiniti has taken the heart and bones of a Mercedes-Benz compact SUV and used them to make a cooler crossover. Really. If you line up the 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport with a recently redesigned 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA, with which it shares an engine, platform, and interior, the Infiniti is the sexier SUV.

Infiniti’s curvy crossover looks especially fetching from the front. It has narrow, hooded headlights, a wide double grille, bubbly bodywork, and a gently undulating hood. In comparison, the Mercedes looks blocky and bloated — the duller sibling in an oversized tracksuit.

From behind, the Mercedes fares even worse, with bulky, trapezoidal taillights that are anything but sleek. The Infiniti offers a more graceful look, with taillights that wrap nicely around the car’s billowy hips, tapering off into a pair of ruby-red cat eyes.

There are other design flourishes, too. In profile, the Mercedes is boxy, while the QX30 zigzags aerodynamically from the roof to the chrome-tipped dual exhaust below. It’s this kind of small touch that makes the car look dynamic.

2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport cabin

When it comes to power, however, the crossovers are neck and neck. They share the same Mercedes 2.0-liter, turbocharged, inline-four engine, which can be a bit wheezy for a vehicle that checks in at 3,364 pounds. The I-4 churns out 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and it is paired to a seven-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. The QX30 is a solid ride that shines in the ever-burgeoning crossover scene, though it is a more practical vehicle for school drop-offs and mall runs than it is for anything off-road. (There’s a 4WD version in other trims.)

We snagged a Sport version to add to our Four Seasons stable. This QX30 includes all the features of the luxury and premium trims, as well as 19-inch alloy wheels, sport seats, a lower suspension, and brakes with cross-drilled front rotors. The model starts at $38,500, but we checked additional boxes on our tester’s order sheet to include the leather package ($1,500), blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, intelligent cruise control ($1,200), and an LED pack with an active front-lighting system and ambient lighting ($1,000).

2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter in motion 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport rear three quarter 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport side profile in motion 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front view in motion 02

There are plenty of other niceties, too, such as a panoramic moonroof and eight-way-adjustable power sport seats in carbon with creamy white trim. And the 60/40 split-folding rear-seat layout offers 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space with them up, two more than the GLA. The driver’s seat is snug, and the Nappa leather-wrapped steering wheel feels luxe. The rest of the interior is nearly identical to the GLA’s, except for the touchscreen; Infiniti crammed its 7.0-inch InTouch display into the dash. The Mercedes’ elegant, floating screen wins out in the integration department. And this brings us to the most controversial aspect of the QX30: the color. The model is available in eight shades, and we received ours in Liquid Copper, a premium paint that adds another $500. The color selection has been the subject of some office debate. It appears coppery under most lighting conditions, but to many it recalls a throwback shade of metallic pink. (Think: ’80s valley girl lipstick.)

The new QX is already a popular ride in the office. We’ll definitely rack up significant mileage in the months ahead to determine whether this is just an average urban hauler or a good Mercedes-Benz alternative.

2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport wheel 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport top view 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport tail lamp 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport side profile 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front view in motion 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport side profile in motion 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter in motion 05 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter 02 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter in motion 04 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport side profile detail 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter 01 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter in motion 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport front three quarter 03 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport seats 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport center console 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport rear seat 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport cabin 1 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport menu selection knob 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport engine

Our 2017 Infiniti QX30 Sport

Overview

PRICE

$39,495 (base), $43,695 (as tested)

ENGINE

2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/208 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1,200-4,000 rpm

TRANSMISSION 7-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD SUV

Chassis

CONSTRUCTION Unibody
STEERING Electrically assisted
LOCKTOLOCK 2.5 turns
TURNING CIRCLE 37.3 ft
SUSPENSION, F/R Strut-type/Multilink
BRAKES, F/R  12.6-in vented discs/11.6-in solid discs
WHEELS 19-inch alloy
TIRES Goodyear Efficient Grip 235/45R19

Measurements

L X W X H 174.2 x 82.0 x 58.9 in
WHEELBASE

106.3 in

TRACK, F/R 61.9/61.9 in
HEADROOM, F/R 38.4/37.5 in
LEGROOM, F/R 41.3/33.5 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 54.8/53.1 in
CARGO CAPACITY

19.2 cu ft

WEIGHT

3,364 lb

WEIGHT DIST, F/R 61%/39%
EPA MILEAGE 24/33/27 mpg city/hwy/combined
FUEL CAPACITY 13.2 gal
EST. FUEL RANGE 356 miles
FUEL GRADE Unleaded premium
0-60 MPH 6.3 sec
TOP SPEED 130 mph

Equipment

STANDARD EQUIPMENT

Signature LED daytime running lights

Panoramic moonroof with power sunshade

Power-folding and heated outside mirrors with puddle lamps

Roof rails

Auto-dimming outside mirror (driver’s side)

Rain-sensing front windshield wipers

Body-colored outside mirror housings  Heated washers
Unique AWD front and rear lower fascias  Rear liftgate wiper
Extended AWD overfenders (black mold-in color)

Aluminum hood

LED front fog lights Leather flat bottom steering wheel
Unique AWD side sill panels (black moldin color)

Lowered Sport Suspension

Chrome trunk finisher – S Dual chrome exhaust finishers Dark Chrome exhaust finishers

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT

Liquid Copper Paint Forward Emergency Braking
Nappa leather heated seats Intelligent Cruise Control
Black Dinamica headliner LED Headlamps
Blind Spot Warning

Active front Lighting System

Lane Departure Warning

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Catching Up With: Infiniti President Roland Krueger http://www.automobilemag.com/news/krueger-infiniti-president-2017-detroit-interview/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/krueger-infiniti-president-2017-detroit-interview/#respond Thu, 19 Jan 2017 11:00:36 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1096855 Roland Krueger joined Infiniti as president in early 2015 after 17 years at BMW. We sat down with him at the 2017 Detroit auto show, where Infiniti unveiled the QX50 concept. Automobile Magazine: How do you feel Infiniti sits in the marketplace today? Roland Krueger: We crossed 230,000 vehicles globally (138,293 in the U.S.) in...

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Roland Krueger joined Infiniti as president in early 2015 after 17 years at BMW. We sat down with him at the 2017 Detroit auto show, where Infiniti unveiled the QX50 concept.

Automobile Magazine: How do you feel Infiniti sits in the marketplace today?

Roland Krueger: We crossed 230,000 vehicles globally (138,293 in the U.S.) in 2016 and grew in every single region. This confirms that we’ve really been building momentum. That will continue moving forward, with the launch of new cars. We feel very confident about where we are today and our prospects.

AM: How is Infiniti is different now compared to when you started two years ago?

RK: We did a few things that are very important. We confirmed and enhanced our relationship with the dealer network all around the world. Also, of course, it’s our new vehicles that we’re launching and the development of that going forward. Last, but not least, is the brand development. We’ve come a long, long way. We’ve defined and positioned the brand. It’s a very consistence, structured approach.

AM: Is Hong Kong still the right place for Infiniti to call home?

RK: (laughs) There are many people asking this question! What is important as a global brand is (having) a space where you develop the brand. It’s also close to one of the most important growth opportunities that we have: China. That’s not in terms of size today but in terms of growth opportunities. It’s huge. At the same time we keep our space to become a true global premium player in the automotive industry. That is working out quite nicely for us. Also, we’re a rather small team, and we want to keep it small, actually. It’s nice — there are only about 150 people but we have a high level of diversity. We have 25 nationalities on that team with a lot of creativity and very good ideas.

Infiniti QX50 concept front three quarter 1

AM: What segments are potential areas for growth?

RK: The growth is in SUVs. That’s why we have the new QX50 concept. It exemplifies our future SUVs, and that’s definitely where the growth is.

AM: Do you move upscale or downscale — or both?

RK: We’ve launched new models like the Q60 as a brand shaper. We positioned ourselves in the luxury performance segment there. At the same time, we launched the QX30 and Q30 as our entry position, especially in Europe but also in the U.S. As discussed, it’s also SUVs. Today, 60 percent of our sales are SUVs, and we see that growing.

AM: What makes Infiniti different from the competition?

RK: We have clearly outlined our positioning with our brand claim, Empower the Drive. On a rational positioning, we are offering forward-looking technologies that set us apart in the industry, such as autonomous drive functions. The Q50 was one of the first cars in the industry to feature this in 2013. At the same time, we want to be seen going forward as a brand that is tapping into a customer with an entrepreneurial spirit, a creative spirit, and who definitely embraces technology. We see this as a huge potential for the brand, and it differentiates us.

infiniti vct engine

AM: How important is the variable compression motor for Infiniti?

RK: It’s very important. It’s part of the positioning for the brand. It’s a very innovative technology. The engineers have worked for a long, long time. There are 300 patents, and it’s a world first. We’re very proud to have this technology in our future models. The first vehicle to get it will be the QX50. It will be standard.

AM: What makes the QX50 concept important for Infiniti?

RK: The biggest growth segment in the world presently is the D SUV segment. You see that in the U.S. and in China and other markets. From a market potential, it’s huge. We’re also going to offer autonomous drive functions on the QX50—the next step for us. It’s bigger than the outgoing vehicle. The versatility has been enhanced.

AM: Talk about Infiniti and autonomous vehicles.

RK: Obviously, autonomous drive is on everyone’s mind. We’re the only car manufacturer who is offering such a steering system (drive by wire). Going forward, the new SUVs will also offer this. This is important for us. It will become a very important position for Infiniti in the future. Having said that, we make sure to keep the driver in the equation. We offer a choice. The driver can [use it to] make their drive less stressful. But we also make sure the fun of driving is still preserved. It also makes the cars safer.

2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400

AM: How do you feel the Red Sport Q50 and Q60 compare to the established performance players, and what is the future of Red Sport products at Infiniti?

RK: We’re very humble about this. We’re a small brand compared to the big players. It’s our first statement in the 400-hp category. It is making its way quite nicely in the segment. It will establish, what we call, “red S” and “silver S” in other models. The red S is always the top-performing car. The silver S is more of the sports pack car, with the lower-output engine. We’re going to have our own positioning as we go forward. We also need to recognize that we’ve just started this and there is still room to grow.

AM: Is there a future for Red Sport with SUVs and other products?

RK: I think there are opportunities, but we haven’t decided that just yet. But this is definitely the route we are going to go. Definitely.

AM: Talk to us about Infiniti and motorsports. Why are you no longer involved with Red Bull and F1?

RK: We have a technical partnership with Renault F1. It’s not a sponsorship. Our engineers are working with their engineers to develop hybrid technology for Formula 1. We have competency in hybrid technology. So we sent some engineers to Renault starting last year. Part of what you’ll see this season is based upon that collaboration. So we’re very much engaged into motorsports, but it’s a deep technical engagement. We’re developing the (F1) car together. We see a big benefit from that going forward.

AM: What other areas of motorsports make sense for Infiniti? Le Mans and/or GT3?

RK: Let us work out the Formula 1 partnership first, and then we’ll have to see.

Infiniti QX50 concept rear end 1 Infiniti QX50 concept rear three quarter 1 Infiniti QX50 concept interior Infiniti QX50 concept steering wheel 2017 Infiniti Q60 Neiman Marcus limited edition front three quarter 2017 Infiniti Q60 Neiman Marcus limited edition rear three quarter 2017 Infiniti Q60 Neiman Marcus limited edition side 2017 Infiniti Q60 Neiman Marcus limited edition rear end 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 side 04 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 side 03 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 rear top view 2017 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 rear three quarters 03 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 side in motion 03 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 rear three quarters 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 rear end 02 2016 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 front three quarter in motion 03

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Infiniti QX50 Concept Unveiled in Detroit http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-qx50-concept-preview-vc-turbo-engine-tech-detroit/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/infiniti-qx50-concept-preview-vc-turbo-engine-tech-detroit/#respond Tue, 10 Jan 2017 05:00:01 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1068617 Infiniti used the stage of the 2017 Detroit auto show to introduce the QX50 Concept. According to Infiniti, the model previews a possible application for its new, production-ready variable-compression turbo engine. Earlier this year, Infiniti announced it would bring out the new engine in 2018, although it didn’t give a specific timeline for its rollout...

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Infiniti used the stage of the 2017 Detroit auto show to introduce the QX50 Concept. According to Infiniti, the model previews a possible application for its new, production-ready variable-compression turbo engine.

Earlier this year, Infiniti announced it would bring out the new engine in 2018, although it didn’t give a specific timeline for its rollout among different models. Using a multi-link system, the variable compression engine, dubbed VC-Turbo, can adapt its compression ratio to different driving conditions to offer optimal levels of performance and fuel economy.

“Such an advanced powertrain would be perfectly suited to the packaging of the QX50 Concept,” Infiniti said in a press release.

On the outside, the Infiniti QX50 Concept looks quite a bit like the QX Sport Inspiration Concept that debuted earlier this year at the Beijing auto show. It features muscular proportions and a raked roofline like the previous model, as well as a new large skid plate that lends the SUV a distinctly athletic appeal.

Infiniti says the QX50 Concept also previews the brand’s rollout of autonomous technologies. Expect the automaker to make an announcement on that front at the show, but in the meantime, Infiniti says its autonomous technologies are intended to act as a “co-pilot” rather than a replacement for the driver. The car will take over certain driving tasks, such as muddling through start-stop traffic, while the driver can focus on more enjoyable ones.

Infiniti QX50 concept front end 1 Infiniti QX50 concept rear three quarter 2 Infiniti QX50 concept headlight 1 Infiniti QX50 concept taillight 1 Infiniti QX50 concept steering wheel 1 Infiniti QX50 concept front interior seats 1 Infiniti QX50 concept rear interior seats 1 Infiniti QX50 concept interior door panel 1 Infiniti QX50 concept rear end 1 Infiniti QX50 concept rear quarter window 1 Infiniti QX50 concept interior 1 Infiniti QX50 concept interior gear knob 1 Infiniti-QX50-concept-rear-side-view-1 Infiniti QX50 concept front side view 1 Infiniti QX50 concept side view Infiniti VC Turbo 05 Infiniti VC Turbo 11 Infiniti VC Turbo 10 Infiniti VC Turbo 09 Infiniti VC Turbo 08 Infiniti VC Turbo 07 Infiniti VC Turbo 06 Infiniti VC Turbo 04 Infiniti VC Turbo 03 Infiniti VC Turbo 02 Infiniti VC Turbo 01

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