Who knew the Q Inspiration Concept would be such an important prototype for Infiniti

When Infiniti rolled out the Q Inspiration Concept at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, not a lot of people thought that it would be such an important prototype for the company. It turns out; the Q Inspiration Concept isn’t only important in the loosest translation of the word, it’s important enough that Infiniti is using it as the basis for its future electrified vehicle platform. This new platform, according to Infiniti chairman Roland Krueger, will sit at the heart of the automaker’s future electric car lineup, which will include models that will take on Tesla, Mercedes EQ, and all other electric brands that are sprouting up these days.

Infiniti Will Take on Tesla, Mercedes with New Platform Based on the Q Inspiration Concept
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Infiniti used to be one of the few luxury brands that didn’t have an official electric vehicle program in its lineup

This is not a drill, folks. This is really happening. Infiniti used to be one of the few luxury brands that didn’t have an official electric vehicle program in its lineup. That’s changing now because the company is going full steam ahead with the development of a new platform that will be used across its range of future electric vehicles. At the center of that push is the Q Inspiration Concept. That much was laid out by Infiniti’s big boss, Ronald Krueger, who made the announcement in China — a potential market for the range — earlier this week. “Infiniti is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration Concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification,” Krueger said. “We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space."

It’s unclear how many electric cars Infiniti plans to build, but we do know of at least one EV-based model that’s scheduled to arrive sometime in 2021. That timetable was actually moved back from 2019, a clear sign that Infiniti still has a lot of catching up to do with regards to building a full EV lineup.

Infiniti Will Take on Tesla, Mercedes with New Platform Based on the Q Inspiration Concept
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We still don’t know what the first model is going to look like, but the smart bet is that it’ll either arrive as a sedan or an SUV

That said, the delay isn’t going to affect the company’s goals. Right now, it’s pushing ahead with its plans to have a solid lineup of EV models in the future. We still don’t know what the first model is going to look like, but the smart bet is that it’ll either arrive as a sedan or an SUV. That seems to be the direction a lot of companies are taking with their initial EV offerings, and the company announcing in China — a market known for its vociferous appetite for luxury sedans and SUVs — is a sign that Infiniti is looking to use the market as a springboard for its EV offerings.

At this point, we know that the EV platform Infiniti is developing is based on the Q Inspiration Concept. What we don’t know is how Infiniti plans to use the platform once it’s developed. It’s likely going to be scalable in nature, though it is a bit trickier to do that considering the need to have different-sized battery packs for these electric rides.

Infiniti Will Take on Tesla, Mercedes with New Platform Based on the Q Inspiration Concept
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The decision to develop an all-electric platform based on the Q Inspiration is a solid start

We also don’t know if the Q Inspiration’s design is going to play a role in the styling of these future Infiniti EVs. We hope that it does because the concept that was shown at the Detroit Auto Show was stunning. At the very least, it made us hopeful that while Infiniti is behind the proverbial eight ball in developing its all-electric lineup, it knows enough of what it’s doing that it can make up for lost time.

The decision to develop an all-electric platform based on the Q Inspiration is a solid start. Now let’s see where it takes things from there.

References

2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept
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Read our full review on the 2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept.

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Press Release

An electrified platform based on Q Inspiration concept car will go into production within the next five years
Sedan will be manufactured in China at a location to be announced
Q Inspiration shows INFINITI’s new design form in an era of advanced powertrains and technologies
BEIJING – INFINITI Motor Company today announced it is developing an all-new electrified vehicle platform influenced by the stunning Q Inspiration concept car. INFINITI will produce an electrified vehicle on this platform, one of five new vehicles it will build in China over the next five years.

INFINITI Chairman and Global President Roland Krueger made the announcement today at a special Auto China preview event at the INFINITI Brand Experience Center in Beijing.

"INFINITI is developing a new platform for electrified vehicles inspired by the Q Inspiration concept car, which shows the new design language for the age of autonomy and electrification. We very much had China in mind when designing the Q Inspiration, which shows a very sporty, performance-oriented electric concept, with a much bigger interior space," said Krueger.

Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of the Q Inspiration features clear and concise lines with dynamic and confident proportions. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI’s new form language for an era of advanced powertrains. The concept eschews classical sedan forms with its coupe-like appearance and elongated silhouette, presenting INFINITI’s design vision for vehicles in this segment.

"The Q Inspiration concept car takes the traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. A shift towards smarter, more compact and less intrusive powertrains; we were able to create an alternative form with flowing gestures, more engaging in character and more enriching in experience. With its long cabin, balanced proportions and muscular stance, the concept heralds in a new era for INFINITI models."

Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director

The Q Inspiration cabin follows a minimalist approach, with a concise and clean interior design enveloping the driver and passengers in a serene and comfortable environment. Advanced powertrains have liberated INFINITI’s designers from the constraints of traditional powertrain architecture to realize a spacious interior. Modern technology and craftsmanship merge inside the cabin, presented in a way that enables, rather than distracts, the driver.

INFINITI is also reconfirming the company’s commitment to electrification. For Chinese car-buyers, this translates into vehicles with increased performance and fuel economy with reduced emissions.

INFINITI also highlighted its handsome Prototype 9 e-roadster, a hand-crafted, elegant concept evoking a vintage 1940s grand prix race car while also boasting a prototype electric motor and battery from Nissan Motor Corporation’s Advanced Powertrain department.

About Prototype 9, Krueger added: "Prototype 9 started as an after-hours idea and grew into a fully fledged prototype. Our teams have proven skills in manufacturing, engineering, design and advanced powertrains, yet they wanted to bring their own traditional craftsmanship to the project. They made Prototype 9 a reality, a result of their ingenuity. Prototype 9 blends modern technology and hand-crafted details paying tribute to the forebears of INFINITI."

INFINITI operates in China via a partnership with Dongfeng Motor Company Ltd. (DFL), China’s largest automotive joint venture. In 2017, INFINITI sold a record 48,408 vehicles in China, a 16% increase from the prior year.

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