Expect it in a showroom soon.
Infiniti’s QX50 is a concept only by the slimmest of technicalities as the Japanese luxury marque is nearly done on the model they intend to roll out of their production lines in not too long. Last year, they unveiled its forerunner, the QX Sport Inspiration concept, in Beijing.
Many of the cues seen back then have survived and save for some exterior flourishes and perhaps more conservative amounts of chrome, the version they will let real people buy won’t be a departure from this ‘concept’.
It’s an overdue replacement for the ageing first-generation QX50 which originally debuted in 2007 as the Infiniti EX. Many elements plucked from the brand’s current ‘Powerful Elegance’ design philosophy are on display here. With a long bonnet and many creases running down the side, it’s clear Infiniti is playing up the sporty angle for the practical premium crossover.
It’s roofline does somewhat taper toward the rear but not enough to really be labelled as a coupe-esque. Despite this, that front end looks straight out of the Q60 coupe - no bad thing . It’s a face similar to the one we’ve seen on last year’s Beijing preview vehicle, and Infiniti has a happy tendency to keep quite true to their design concepts all the way to production.
Inside, the QX50 wants to emphasise a ‘driver-centric, passenger-minded’ cabin. It certainly looks luxurious with its multi-tone motif, wood and brushed aluminium accents, and textured suede-like material along transmission tunnel. It can easily go up against similar offerings from other premium automakers just in terms of cabin ambiance.
Infiniti says its dashboard is focused around the driver, and from some angles the centre stack do look pivoted to serve this, though it’s difficult to discern how the QX50 is any more driver-centric than, say, the BMW X3, Lexus NX or Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Naturally, Infiniti will be slotting their most modern engine into the upcoming crossover. Though, right now they’re content with merely teasing the possibility of it being powered by their 2.0-litre VC-Turbo petrol engine, a motor that employs variable turbine geometry turbochargers as well as being able vary the compression ratio of its combustion chamber.
Unlike the older rear-wheel drive QX50, this new version will have its most of its power sent to the front-wheels due to its all-wheel drive system’s biases. It will likely come via a 7-speed automatic that’s already being used throughout the Infiniti range.
The QX50 is also due to arrive with a suite of active safety features that bleed into some autonomous driving ability, though the details of which are still left quite vague. It will lean the same sensors the car will use for functions like AEB (autonomous emergency braking) and adaptive cruise control: cameras, radar, and infra-red lasers.