Detroit show: Petrol future for Infiniti QX50

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Infiniti QX50 04

The Infiniti QX50 debuts at the North American International Auto Show in concept form.

The production version of the new SUV is expected to launch in the USA in 2018, and then go on sale in Europe at a date to be determined.

Biggest headline of the new Infiniti QX50 is likely to be its engine – the brand is targeting a launch for its VC-Turbo 2.0-litre petrol engine with the car.

This compact unit is the first production petrol engine with a variable compression ratio. Infiniti says it offers the power of a typical V6 petrol engine but with fuel economy some 27 per cent better and closer to diesel units. Nissan’s luxury brand has previously suffered in SUV sales by only being able to offer petrol engines.

The styling of the QX50 is evolved from the QX Sport Inspiration concept that Infiniti showed in 2016. The brand’s ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language combines with an interior design that is described as ‘driver-centric, passenger-minded’ .

‘Co-pilot’ driver aids

Infiniti has also used the concept to preview autonomous driving technologies set to be rolled out by the brand on future models. Infiniti says that its technologies will act as ‘a co-pilot’ rather than taking full charge of the car, allowing drivers to retain control over their vehicle. More boring tasks, such as navigating stop-start traffic, will be carried out autonomously, leaving the more enjoyable aspects of driving to the driver.Infiniti Q50 02

Unveiling the QX50 Concept, Infiniti president Roland Krueger is not yet stating specifically that the production version is on the way. “With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of Infiniti QX models,” he says.

“The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how Infiniti could develop its future presence in what is the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally.”

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Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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