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Could the Infiniti QX50 be the car to kickstart the brand’s UK growth?

First pictures of the Japanese premium brand’s new compact SUV have been released ahead of its public unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show. And Infiniti is confirming that it will be the first production car in the world to use an engine with a variable compression ratio.

The 2.0-litre VC-Turbo petrol engine in the QX50 can adjust its compression ratio from 8:1 to 14:1, which will allow the driver to make full use of the 280hp available for performance, or dial everything back to return the most effective fuel economy.

Infiniti has so far struggled to grow significantly in the UK because it does not offer diesel versions of its cars. But with UK buyers now increasingly turning against diesel a high-tech new petrol model with high fuel economy but also performance could be the key the brand needs to get the attention of UK buyers.

New platform for more space

The QX50 is also built on an all-new platform, which its makers say will set a new level of refinement, rigidity and interior space to take on the many rivals in the booming compact SUV segment. It will also debut a new interpretation of the brand’s design language.

Infiniti adds that the QX50 will feature its pioneering autonomous drive support technologies, promising to assist the driver when accelerating, braking and steering during single-lane carriageway driving, whilst still allowing them to retain ultimate control over the car.

The Infiniti QX50 will go on sale in the USA in 2018, in front-wheel-drive format with all-wheel-drive as an option. More details of its technical specification, or when it’s coming to the UK, we don’t currently know. Infiniti is promising further information when the car is unveiled at the Los Angeles Show.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a 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.