Hinting at what the brand’s next-generation production mid-size crossover will look like, the Infiniti QX50 Concept made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. And with it comes more than meets the eye.
The current Infiniti QX50 crossover has been unique in its class as one of the few built on a rear-wheel drive architecture. It appears that will change when the next-generation QX50 foretold by the new concept arrives.
Built on a front-wheel drive based architecture and about the size of the Nissan Rogue, the QX50 Concept shows a blockier and more aggressive design than the current model. The good news it’s pretty good looking I think.
The design language is what Infiniti calls “Powerful Elegance”. They always have a name for it, but it works for me. The concept has expressive use of OLED lighting comes both front and rear, continuing is the crescent-cut rear pillar, here a lot thicker and more pronounced.
If anything this QX50 has a much more aggressive yet playful persona than the current production model, now one of the oldest designs in the Infiniti showroom.
The interior showcases a new approach to us of materials Infiniti says we’ll see in their next crop of models. They speak of a “more modern” application of woods, leathers and hand crafted feel to put them all together.
Of note is a new ‘dot quilt’ method for patterning the leather that seen here on the doors and seats. Something Infiniti has applied for a patent on, the look they say is inspired by classic buttoned leather furnishings.
At the center of it all is of course a wide touchscreen display that will house all that is holy in the driver’s world. In addition to all the things you would expect, Infiniti says you can also display the power and operational mods of the new variable compression VC-Turbo engine.
That’s because the QX50 Concept is one of the first new vehicles that may use the new new variable compression engine that was announced late last year. The 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine can vary its compression ratio for either power or efficiency on the fly, allowing four-cylinder efficiency and V6 power.
Additionally, the QX50 Concept also provides a platform for the next-generation of Infiniti’s autonomous driving technologies which means a lot of drive-by-wire controls that allow the computer to take the wheel much easier. But don’t despair, Infiniti says their autonomous driving tech will be driver centered and ensure your participation.
There was no announcement on if and when the Infiniti QX50 would make it to production, but Infiniti’s mode of operation has typically been good to follow up concepts with real vehicles.