Infiniti won the unofficial award for the most embarrassing debut of the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. I hesitate to call it a debut because, in this debacle, the QX Inspiration concept failed to even make it to the stage for its live unveiling. This futuristic electric crossover broke down in the hallway — proving that it’s not quite ready for a production model.
This mishap got me wondering: why doesn’t Infiniti already have at least one EV already on the market right now? It’s Nissan’s luxury brand, and Nissan has been selling production EVs since 2010 in the form of the Leaf — a car that’s already in its second generation. I’m not exactly saying Infiniti should be offering a rebadged luxury version of the Leaf (remember the Lexus CT?) — but since its parent company was one of the earliest pioneers in the modern era of electric cars, why doesn’t Infiniti get one?
Infiniti could have had a huge head start on the rest of the luxury car industry by being one of the earliest adopters of EVs, like Nissan was for volume car brands. It could have borrowed some Nissan Leaf tech and made a nice little electric crossover that was a step up in luxury over the Leaf. Instead, it shows what seems like another new EV concept at every auto show without any specifics on when we can expect to see a production model.
Even if the range and performance weren’t that great, it would be something interesting that Infiniti would have that Acura and Lexus don’t. Infiniti makes perfectly good luxury cars, but with the exception of the interesting new VC-Turbo engine in the new QX50, it’s a brand that’s been struggling to really stand out in a crowded field of luxury cars. Imagine how much an EV would help with that.
A year ago, we heard that Infiniti is getting two new EVs by 2022. Well, it’s been a year, and all we’ve seen is a broken concept. It would be nice to hear a realistic, specific time frame of Infiniti’s plan for EVs since I can’t help but think there should already be one in showrooms today.