Well, we do know we’ll see the Infiniti QX80 at the Los Angeles Motor Show next week, after it made a world debut at the Dubai Auto Show earlier in November. But that doesn’t tell us much about the curious teaser Nissan’s luxury brand sent out today.
We’ve already been told that the vehicle whose grille and headlight we see will be the brand’s “most advanced car ever,” but it almost certainly isn’t a sedan or coupe. The nose is just too tall and upright. So, that would suggest the automaker means a car-based crossover.
“As with all Infinitis,” the latest release tells us, in the words of global design boss Alfonso Albaisa, “we have been inspired by our desire to drive, expressed with power and artistry. With this all-new model, inspiration comes from striking the perfect balance between lust and logic. At a glance, seamless and sculptural, getting closer to the car reveals an ingenious blend of proportion and space.”
Well, it’s taken a little detective work, including calling in a few favors and hinting about some secrets we know, but unless we’re being seriously misled, we’re putting our bet on this image offering a first look at the next-generation QX50.
(Infiniti goes forward into the past with retro-futuristic Prototype 9. Click Here to check it out.)
Of course, it helps to know this isn’t the QX80 – as you’d quickly recognize noticing the different interplay between the grille and headlights on the two vehicles.
And we know that we were shown a concept version of the QX50 at the North American International Auto Show last January, updated for the Geneva Motor Show two months later.
And the timing is also right. Originally known as the Infiniti EX when it was launched in 2007, it hasn’t had an update since the 2014 model-year. There is no 2018 model, we might point out, a solid hint that a new model would be labeled a 2019.
As to what this breakthrough technology might be, several of our Infiniti sources told us in Geneva to expect to see the maker’s new variable compression engine technology arrive next year. And that would also fit the timing. The 2.0-liter system is capable of varying between 8:1 to 14:1, that approach allowing it to balance emissions and performance at all times, depending upon driver demand and road conditions. The engine is expected to produce a potent 268 horsepower, well at the extremes for the current flood of turbo-2.0-liter engines coming to market.
(Click Here for more on the new variable-compression engine.)
Another reason to expect a crossover in L.A. is the fact that Infiniti insiders have been hinting there’s a new sedan concept coming to the Detroit Auto Show in January. There’s also been confirmation that we’ll be seeing the brand’s first all-electric model, an entry it has repeatedly delayed.
A new QX50 would be clearly welcomed by Infiniti dealers who’d like something fresher to take on the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3, never mind the Lexus RX — which will be shown in LA in new, three-row RXL configuration.
While Infiniti is clearly going to be busy during its media debut on November 28th, we’ll have some interesting things to see at the stand of sibling Nissan, including the U.S. debut of the Armada SUV that also had its global reveal in Dubai.
(Click Here for a review of the all-new Infiniti Q50 sedan.)