Auto Show: 2017 Detroit Auto Show
Infiniti QX50 Concept: Detroit Auto Show
What Is It?
The Infiniti QX50 Concept is a premium midsize crossover. It doesn't have wacky styling. Instead, it displays the kind of design approach the company has applied to its newest sedans and coupes. Another major purpose of this exercise is to highlight the company's suite of advanced driving technologies, which can assist in stop-and-go traffic and monitor the movements of other vehicles.
Infiniti also has new, production-ready engine technology, which it says would be "perfectly suited" to the QX50 Concept. It's a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, but the selling point here is variable compression for optimum efficiency and performance. The company claims the engine produces up to 268 horsepower and 287 lb-ft of torque while using 27 percent less gasoline than a V6 of similar output.
Will They Ever Sell It?
Here's a strong clue: Infiniti hasn't even bothered to give this concept a special title like the Sport Inspiration, as a similar concept for the 2016 Beijing show was called. Instead, it follows the company's naming system where anything QX means it's in the SUV/crossover realm, and there's already a QX50 in production. So what we're looking at here is Infiniti's idea of marketing and an attempt to drum up interest for a new generation, which is imminent. That new engine might only make it into the highest trims, though.
Why It's Important
It hasn't escaped anyone's notice that the world just can't get enough crossovers. The Infiniti QX50 Concept falls into a sweet spot occupied by major players like the BMW X3, the Acura RDX and the Audi Q5. If the production model can gain some traction in that crowded field, everyone at Infiniti could be looking at generous Christmas bonuses.