The Infiniti QX50 Concept, that debuts in Detroit on 9th January, is a clear evolution of the QX Sport Inspiration that was unveiled at the Beijing show in April and was updated for the Paris event in September.
The QX50 Concept is said to be far closer to a production model than its QX Sport predecessor. It shows off the brand’s latest design language dubbed ‘Powerful Elegance’, highlighted by sharp defining lines and flowing surfaces.
The car also debuts the latest Infiniti VC-Turbo powertrain, the variable compression ratio engine described as production ready. The 2.0-litre unit is said to combine the power of a high-performance turbo petrol engine with the torque and efficiency of a diesel.
The VC-Turbo can continuously vary its compression ratio between a highly efficient 14:1 and a performance-pitched 8:1 depending on driving conditions. Currently it is rated at 272hp with torque of 390Nm, which Infiniti says will match six-cylinder petrol engines in performance but with planned fuel economy some 27 per cent more efficient.
Also debuting on the Infiniti QX50 Concept will be the brand’s first autonomous driving technology. Infiniti describes its systems as acting as a ‘co-pilot’ to the driver rather than replacing them, taking over more mundane tasks such as negotiating slow-moving queues.
According to Infiniti president Roland Krueger, the new car progresses the brand’s future SUV plans. “With the unveiling of the QX Sport Inspiration at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, we showed the future of Infiniti QX models,” Krueger says.
“The new QX50 Concept evolves this concept further and shows how Infiniti could develop its future presence in the fastest-growing vehicle segment globally.”
The production Infiniti QX50 is expected to launch in 2018 as the first of a new range of SUVs.