What Is It?
The Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept is the result of Infiniti wanting to update its full-size SUV. We all know the current QX80, which looks a bit like a whale. This concept is, according to Infiniti, “an exploration of how we plan to take a step forward in the large SUV segment.”
It has a grille that fits in more with current Infiniti models and brings the headlights higher up in the body. The A-pillars are blacked out, which is quite imaginative. On the sides, those little air intakes have been replaced by something tidier; the character line is higher, straighter and more defined. And there’s now a kind of “hockey stick” feature on the lower flanks. The door handles are flush with the body to reduce wind noise as well as create a cleaner look. They pop out when needed.
The fenders have more accentuated flares, while those alloy wheels measure 24 inches in diameter, but the rims perform an optical illusion so they look more like 26-in alloys with lower-profile tires. Infiniti describes the paintwork as having a “frosted” effect where the color is desaturated and given a satin-like finish.
Will They Ever Sell It?
Not as it is. Don’t be surprised if the “real” QX80 is quite different from this concept. Infiniti recently hired Karim Habib to be head of design, who was previously occupying that seat at BMW; the current 5 and 7 Series are examples of his work. So the Monograph concept was probably completed before his first day on the job. But the talented Mr. Habib will want to make his own mark and possibly take the QX80 in another direction. Although it’s interesting how those aforementioned BMW cars both have “hockey stick” elements to their designs.
Why It’s Important
It seems big SUVs will always have a place in the heart of the American driver, so almost every company feels the need to have one in its portfolio. The Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept performs the task expected of most concepts: To hint at styling direction, so the company can gauge the reactions of the industry and potential buyers. The current QX80 is certainly due for an update and this study gets us talking about it again.