It’s a QX80 with some modern technology and a new look

The Infiniti QX80 was birthed into the world back in 2004 as the QX56. It went through a generational change in 2010 and in 2014 it went through a mid-cycle overhaul and received the QX80 name to go with Infiniti’s new naming structure. Even with the facelift taking place just a few years ago, the QX80 is rather dated for such an overpopulated segment. We were hoping to see a new model for 2018, but instead, Infiniti has been busy working on the QX80 Monograph – a design study that basically displays how the QX80 could evolve in the future. For now, there’s only one image to go by, and it does have an evolutional look to it, but it’s also just as boxy so it’s not quite as modern as some would expect.

As a design study, it’s quite possible that this is the direction that Infiniti wants to go with the next-gen model. But, the problem is that it’s not really all that different from the current model. Sure, it’s got those fancy and futuristic LED headlights and a new nose that sits a bit taller to go with a new front fascia design, but that’s about it. To be quite honest, I doubt Infiniti is going to get a good reaction from this concept as it’s just too boxy for the segment that it competes in, but then again, the QX80 has been known as the model that outsells the rest of Infiniti’s SUVs, so anything is possible. With that said, let’s dive on in a take a closer look at the QX80 Monograph.

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What Makes the QX80 Monograph Special

2018 Infiniti QX80 Monograph Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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So, the most obvious thing to point out is that the Monograph has the same general silhouette as the current QX80. It’s boxier than hell and has probably the flattest roof you can find in the segment. The greenhouse is just a tad thinner than the lower portion of the body to give it the same dominate waistline as the current model. The biggest thing to note up top is that the rear quarter class comes to a sharper point much higher than on the current model, and the windshield blends seamlessly with the front door glass, eliminating the A-pillars from view from the outside. It’s a clean look, so no complaints here.

The Monograph has the same general styling on the sides, with the wheel arches flared out slightly for extra character. Unlike the production model, however, the lip around the wheel wells has a crimped look to it instead of the bubbly look. A new insert resides just behind the front wheel well and could serve as a small fender vent with the lower half extending across the bottom of the door. The side steps on the monograph are integrated into the body itself instead of looking like they are bolted on at each corner. Again, it’s a much cleaner look. The side view mirrors have been replaced by camera units. These cameras have been showing up a lot on concept cars lately, so it’s not surprising to see them here. They were just legalized in certain parts of the Asian market, so they will become commonplace here in the U.S. at some point as well. By the time Infiniti finally debuts a new QX80, they just might carry over to the next-gen production model.

The biggest thing to note up top is that the rear quarter class comes to a sharper point much higher than on the current model, and the windshield blends seamlessly with the front door glass, eliminating the A-pillars from view from the outside.

Up front, things get a little more interesting. The hood appears to be nearly identical to that of the current model, but it does have a more dominant body line right in the middle. The fenders bulge out more and sit higher, thanks to the much smaller, LED headlights. Similar-looking headlights have been used on other concepts but never make it into production, so don’t expect to see them on a production model anytime soon. The grill is larger, has flatted edges, and most likely previews Infiniti’s next grill design. It’s not bad really and does look more in place on such a box model. Down below, the air dam has been replaced by two vents that you could probably call nostrils, while the center area of the lower fascia looks to be reinforced with a skid plate of sorts. Finally, a vent in each corner as a bit of character to the front end, and looks like they may actually be purposeful. Surely, they would be blocked off on a production model, but it’s a nice touch.

If I had to guess, I’d say about 30-percent of the styling you see here may find its way onto the next QX80, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for those LED headlights, the functional corner vents, or the side view cameras. The side view cameras will come eventually, but probably not until at least a few years have passed. What do you think about the Monograph? Are you fond of the overall boxy design, or do you think that Infiniti should change things up a bit with the next-gen model? Let us know in the comments section below.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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Press Release

INFINITI has unveiled the QX80 Monograph, a new design study exploring upscale luxury and signaling INFINITI’s intention to further develop its standing in the large SUV segment.

The QX80 Monograph combines luxury with a commanding presence, and demonstrates the high levels of space and utility for which the QX80 production car is renowned. It illustrates how the design of INFINITI’s large SUV could evolve in future. Originating at INFINITI’s design studio in Atsugi, Japan, and unveiled for the first time in New York, the QX80 Monograph is the ultimate expression of futuristic luxury SUV design.

"The QX80 Monograph represents a detailed study into our expertise of exterior design. QX80 Monograph shows our concept of luxury and style on the road, and is an exploration into how we could enhance our future INFINITI offering in the luxury SUV segment."

The ultimate expression of futuristic luxury SUV design

Hints at a forward-looking new design for INFINITI’s large SUV
Applies INFINITI’s latest signature design cues on a new scale

"The QX80 Monograph provides the opportunity to reimagine INFINITI’s signature design DNA on a totally different scale. We sculpted our body pure, straight and horizontal, the muscularity both brute and sensual; part Rodin’s Thinker, part Michelangelo. INFINITI ’carrozzeria’ used svelte satin copper skin, set off by an ultra-powerful double arch grille with abstract structural mesh, distinctive and focused human eye signature headlamp, and iconic fender vent. Our designers continue to impress by finding new avenues for INFINITI artistry."

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design

The QX80 Monograph hints at a forward-looking new design for INFINITI’s flagship large SUV. The concept applies the brand’s latest design language in a sculptural and artistic way, incorporating a mix of geometric and organic shapes to combine power with elegance, creating a commanding and sophisticated presence.

The QX80 Monograph is over five meters long, almost two meters tall (including roof rails), and more than two meters wide (door mirrors folded). It appears longer thanks to defined character lines, in particular the strong, straight shoulder line that runs from the grille all the way to the rear of the car.

The headlamps extend into thin lights that wrap around the front corners of the hood and run along the wings, for a unique light signature from the front and in profile. The light bars running along the front wings end in sculptured rear-view cameras at the leading edge of the two front doors.

The face of the QX80 Monograph appears more powerful and purposeful, with large, functional fender vents delivering more air to the engine, flanking an aluminum chin guard. Enhancing its SUV credentials, an underbody cover runs the length of the floor, protecting the car’s undersides and aiding aerodynamic performance.

A thin strip of aluminum below the grille emphasizes the car’s width and incorporates razor-sharp LED fog-lamps at each end for a modern, high-tech appearance. At the rear, defined horizontal lines highlight the car’s wide and powerful aura. The appearance of the sharper, thinner tail-lamps are mirrored in the wide twin exhausts, which feature a gloss-black aerofoil in between to encourage smoother air flow off the back of the car.

The doors open to reveal an integrated, brushed aluminum sill step to ease ingress and egress, while vents aft of the front and rear wheels provide a further distinctive metallic accent to the design. These vents could also perform a valuable aerodynamic function, evacuating turbulent and drag-inducing air from the wheel arches.

The QX80 Monograph’s design details express INFINITI’s approach to high quality, high precision car manufacturing. Notably, the QX80 Monograph’s blacked-out A-pillar sits flush with the side windows and windscreen, while the pop-out door handles are also flush with the bodywork. These elements give a cleaner appearance and help to minimize drag and wind noise.

Unmistakable INFINITI signature design elements are taken from the company’s latest concept and production vehicles. QX80 Monograph features the latest incarnation of INFINITI’s hallmark "human-eye" headlamps, raised high up in the front of the car, as well as slimmer, sharper rear combination lamps. The unique piano key design of the head- and tail-lamps enables individual LED elements to light up independently, providing an artistic application of the latest adaptive lighting technology.

The new interpretation of INFINITI’s double-arch grille is taller and wider, giving it a powerful new face, while a new grille mesh suggests a highly sculptural and technical form. The new mesh adds greater visual depth with a series of individual sculptures that appear linked together in a lattice. The crescent-cut D-pillar has been reshaped, its sharper and higher trailing edge enhancing the horizontal aspect of the QX80 Monograph’s upper body.

The QX80 Monograph features a frosted-effect paint finish, following positive feedback from recent INFINITI concepts completed with a similar effect. The desaturated color and satin-like surface each suggest an unusual treatment of the metal beneath, providing a textured contrast to the gloss chrome and brushed aluminum elements around the concept.

Straight-spoke, two-tone wheels – 24 inches in diameter – are finished in chromium black with contrasting brushed copper elements. The outer edges of the wheels overlap the tires, presenting the appearance of a 26-inch wheel and low profile tires to complement the scale of the QX80 Monograph.

"Earlier INFINITI show cars have started conversations with our customers, which gives us the chance to talk about the brand’s future direction. We have listened to our customers to discover their expectations for a large SUV from INFINITI in 2017 and beyond. The QX80 Monograph illustrates how INFINITI’s ’powerful elegance’ design language could be used to develop our luxury SUVs in future."

Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design

Evolving INFINITI’s presence in the luxury SUV segment

INFINITI QX80 Monograph: a modern interpretation of luxury SUV design

"The QX80 Monograph is an exploration of how we plan to take a step forward in the large SUV segment. This is an important initiative for INFINITI, as the QX80 is popular with buyers in a number of markets – particularly in North America and the Middle East."

The INFINITI QX80 Monograph is a forward-looking interpretation of the QX80’s exterior design, offering the size, utility and luxury appeal expected of cars in this segment.

As the brand’s largest SUV, the QX80 makes an important statement for INFINITI, combining supreme space and utility with luxury and sophistication. INFINITI’s full-size SUV serves as a private jet for the road; it meets the uncompromising needs of a target buyer who wants for nothing.

"Monograph" – a focused and detailed study

QX80 Monograph represents a focused examination of a singular theme – exterior design in the luxury SUV segment

INFINITI defines a "monograph" as a detailed study into a single area of expertise. In this context, the INFINITI QX80 Monograph is a detailed examination of how the exterior design of the QX80 may evolve in the future.

The QX80 Monograph is the first model from the brand to bear the "Monograph" nomenclature. Monograph studies explore ways INFINITI can develop specific elements of its cars.

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