Today Infiniti previewed the brand’s next QX50 crossover with the QX50 Concept in Detroit. The vehicle is a thinly veiled look at the next-generation QX50, which is due out as a 2018 model. Infiniti expects the new QX50 to become a big seller for the brand, despite the rather dismal performance of the current model.
The QX50 Concept is essentially an evolved version of the design theme that debuted on the QX Sport Inspiration Concept, but this one appears to be more production-ready than its predecessor. The overall design theme is very much in line with other recent Infiniti products, capturing on the brand’s “powerful elegance” design theme.
Infiniti is also utilizing the QX50 Concept to preview the brand’s autonomous vehicle technology and new variable compression ratio engine, both of which are expected on the production QX50.
Unlike some automakers, Infiniti says the driver will continue to be at the center of its autonomous strategy. Instead, Infiniti will work to make driving less stressful, but doesn’t appear eager to take the driver entirely out of the equation anytime soon.
Infiniti’s production-ready 2.0-liter VC-Turbo engine represents a compelling alternative to diesel powertrains, particularly in the mid-sized premium crossover segment. The VC-Turbo engine is able to adapt its compression ratio according to driving conditions to deliver optimal levels of performance and efficiency. It challenges the notion that hybrid technology and diesel are the only powertrains capable of offering high efficiency and torque. For its application in the QX50 Concept, the human-machine interface (HMI) demonstrates to the driver and passengers how the VC-Turbo is adapting according to driving conditions. The HMI displays the engine’s current status as it intelligently chooses appropriate levels of performance and high efficiency.
The production variant of the QX50 is expected to debut closer to it’s 2018 launch.