Infiniti is set to become the latest entrant into the luxury coupe-SUV segment, teasing the new QX55 expected to reach market early next year.
The automaker gave a handful of journalists a quick look at a prototype of the QX55 late last week and today is releasing a teaser image of the new model.
“For this vehicle, style is paramount,” said Tim Franklin, director of product planning for Infiniti Americas. “It has to be an emotional vehicle,” even if that means some sacrifices in terms of passenger and cargo space.
Likely to no surprise, the QX55 is based off the same platform as the Infiniti QX50, the more conventional crossover that has become the luxury brand’s most popular offering. The so-called “D” segment is a major source of business for luxury brands, accounting for around 25% of the U.S. SUV market overall.
While coupe-like crossovers are more niche focused, demand has been growing in recent years – along with the competition. The Infiniti QX55 will go up against several key competitors, including the BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe.
The automaker offered few details about the upcoming crossover, though some basics can be ascertained from the QX50. The more traditional model comes with front-wheel-drive standard, for example, but also is offered with all-wheel-drive.
Like the QX50, we can expect to see the QX55 offer Infiniti’s distinctive VC-Turbo engine – the first commercial powertrain to allow for the continuous change of its compression ratio to balance performance and fuel economy. The turbocharged engine displaces 2.0-liters and produces 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
The VC-Turbo engine is paired with a CVT gearbox.
The basic design of the QX55 will be familiar to those who’ve seen the QX50, but the coupe-crossover gets an aggressively sloping roofline and a somewhat pinched back end.
We first learned the QX55 was on its way when Infiniti released a teaser – a single brushstroke – timed to coincide with the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The latest image offers far more detail than that teaser.
For now, the automaker says only that it, “will reveal more details on the new QX55 before the car’s launch in 2020.”
But, based on what we know about the QX50 and the rest of the competition in the coupe/crossover segment, we’re expecting to see the base, FWD version of the QX55 come in somewhere in the low $40,000 range.