Even with the recent economic slowdown, most automakers consider China to be the second most important market behind the United States. So it’s not suprising that Infiniti would use the Beijing Auto Show as a backdrop to introduce its new QX Sport Inspiration to the world.
Though officially a concept, it’s sized comparably to the long-in-the-tooth QX50, which would lead me to believe that we’ll see a pre-production version of an actual model sometime next year. Not unlike the process that was used to tease and then introduce both the Q30 and Q60.
So let’s dig into what’s here and see what will make it into the production version in a few months. Building on the design language that has now infiltrated most Infiniti products, the QX Inspiration combines the crisp, creased lines and sculpted surfaces that have helped the Q50, Q30 and upcoming Q60 sport coupe stand out from the sea of ubiquity that has become contemporary automotive design. In addition, this QX concept continues Infiniti’s signature double-arch grille, triangular headlamp design and crescent accent on the c-pillar marking the rear of the side window.
With high arched wheel wells, and a fair amount of ground clearance, shortened greenhouse and almost coupe-like rake, the QX straddles the line between SUV and crossover. This creates a form that communicates an intent to be both sporty and capable, similar to the Range Rover Sport. This is, of course, intentional. According to Alfonzo Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director, the QX Inspiration “expresses power and purpose through what we describe as its ‘proportional clarity’, with an elegance that is uniquely Infiniti. The exterior design will appeal to an artistic sensibility. It has a more flowing, natural aesthetic than that evident in traditional premium SUVs.”
Other interesting design details include an integrated step for the passengers and driver that reinforces the SUV DNA of the vehicle. The vents behind the front wheel not only add visual interest, but also improve vehicle aerodynamics by venting air trapped in the wheel arches. The full-length, glass roof with Cosmic Chrome™ gradation creates an airy feel for the car’s interior while helping to regulate interior temperature. Finally, the rear diffuser does a nice job of finishing off the tail of the vehicle, providing more aero benefits while deftly integrating the rectangular exhaust pipes.
Inside the QX Inspiration points the way forward for Infiniti using space, materials and design details to enhance passenger comfort and personalization. Open the doors and the sill step is flush with the floor creating a more inviting and spacious entry to the cabin. The seats feature a “floating” design that frees up more floor space, creating more passenger legroom. Another innovative use of technology are rear facing cameras and small monitors mounted on the A-pillars that replace the side-view mirrors, eliminating blind spots and improving the driver’s view to the rear.
Infiniti continues to develop new concepts that stick to a familiar and theme, but each one takes it a step further, bringing the brand closer to a successful future. This vehicle in particular, if it finds its way into production in a form that’s close to this concept, should improve their fortunes significantly.