Nissan’s premium brand has big plans for its electrification future in China

Infiniti is known for building some of the most awe-inspiring concepts you’ll ever see. It’s nice to see, then, that Infiniti’s form is holding up nicely, as we can see from the Qs Inspiration Concept that’s currently on display at Auto Shanghai 2019. Developed as a sports sedan that showcases Infiniti’s push towards electrification, the Qs Inspiration Concept is a sign that Infiniti’s not just talking the talk when it comes to its electrification plans, it’s provided us with a physical example of what we can look forward to in the future. More importantly, the Qs Inspiration won’t stay a concept for long; Infiniti has plans to build a production model in China, for the Chinese market. It’s all part of the automaker’s goal to offer a diverse lineup of electrified models in the world’s biggest car market. The Qs Inspiration Concept is the first step in achieving that goal.

The 2019 Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept is a Glimpse Into the Future

The Infiniti Qs Inspiration Previews an All-Electric Sports Sedan
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If Infiniti’s goal was to make a splash at Auto Shanghai 2019, it did just that with the Qs Inspiration Concept. Take away its purpose, features, and it’s importance to Infiniti’s electrification future. Focus on the concept itself, and only the concept. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

The concept exudes the aura of a traditional concept with its eye-catching design, but it’s not overly fancy in the way most concept vehicles are

. The front section is probably it’s best side, in large part because it looks so clean. The thin headlamps are quintessential of the concept variety, and they do look properly aggressive. But it’s surrounded by smooth white body panels that don’t overextend their purpose.

The hood is smooth. The bumper is smooth. Even the section where the front grille is supposed to be is smooth. Now, the absence of a front grille shouldn’t be surprising since the Qs Inspiration Concept is an electric sports sedan, but doesn’t it feel like this concept looks like an evolved version — and a far better-looking one, at that — of the Tesla Model S?

The rest of the concept’s appearance features a more traditional three-box design that’s become a go-to design approach among European automakers.

This design process starts with three basic boxes, specifically a large box that represents the passenger compartment and a pair of smaller boxes representing the engine compartment and the trunk section. Depending on the design needs of a model, or a concept, in this case, these boxes are reconfigured, resized, and reshuffled without changing the aesthetic balance of the entire vehicle. This approach is prevalently used by automakers like Mercedes, Audi, and BMW. It’s probably not a coincidence that the man who led the design effort of the Qs Inspiration Concept is Karim Habib, an alumnus of, well, BMW.

The Infiniti Qs Inspiration Previews an All-Electric Sports Sedan
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Like most outstanding concepts, the Qs Inspiration Concept isn’t defined by just one seminal aspect. The very nature of concept vehicles, and how they’re perceived, is tied into the things that make them appealing in the eyes of the public.

The Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept is great to look at, but that’s not all there is to it, either.

Granted, Infiniti has yet to bare technical details about the concept, but the automaker did say that the Qs Inspiration not only serves as a preview of an upcoming production model but, more importantly, it’s a touchpoint to an all-electric future that Infiniti is heavily invested in.

This is the part where the concept itself evolves into something bigger than itself. The Qs Inspiration Concept is great to look at, but it’s bigger purpose isn’t its design or the modular architecture that Infiniti will use on all of its electric cars in the future. The concept’s bigger purpose is to showcase Infiniti’s electrification plans, which includes turning its entire lineup into hybrid and electric cars, beginning in 2025.

We first saw a glimpse of that future earlier this year when Infiniti unveiled the QX Inspiration Concept at the 2019 North American International Auto Show.

The company’s new roadmap exhibits tighter planning with a focus on spending the next few years consolidating and preparing for the launch of its electric cars. That’s why we saw the QX Inspiration Concept in Detroit, and that’s why the Qs Inspiration Concept is currently in Shanghai.

The Infiniti Qs Inspiration Previews an All-Electric Sports Sedan
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Infiniti is preparing to overhaul its entire lineup in six years. That massive and ambitious plan has to start somewhere. Well, it’s starting now, and the Qs Inspiration Concept is the latest manifestation of that plan. Infiniti’s own chairman, Christian Meuiner, even touched on that in a press release announcing the Qs Inspiration Concept’s debut at Auto Shanghai 2019. "China has the most growth potential for electric vehicles globally, especially in the premium segment,” Meiuner said. "The age of electrification presents us with an opportunity to renew our credentials as an innovative challenger brand, ready to move quickly and decisively in this growing and exciting area of the market."

The Infiniti Qs Inspiration Previews an All-Electric Sports Sedan
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Details regarding the Infiniti Qs Inspiration Concept should arrive soon, but, ultimately, does it really matter? Maybe it does for those who are interested to know everything about the concept. But the concept is bigger than itself. The Qs isn’t just a concept; it’s a symbol of Infiniti’s future, one that we should all be excited about.

Further reading

2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept
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Read our full review on the 2019 Infiniti QX Inspiration Concept.

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

The INFINITI Qs Inspiration is a sports sedan concept developed for the electrified era. Revealed for the first time today at Auto Shanghai 2019, it offers a new perspective on sports sedans with an elevated driving position and high-performance electrified all-wheel drive power.

Representing INFINITI’s desire to challenge tradition, the Qs Inspiration previews a forthcoming production model and hints at the company’s electrified future, in which the brand will offer electric and e-POWER powertrains across its lineup. The concept’s flexible architecture has been developed to accommodate high-performance electrified powertrains. It has also enabled INFINITI’s designers to reinterpret traditional "three-box" sedan design, with new exterior proportions and a spacious, lounge-like interior.

With its creation led by a team of designers working under Karim Habib, executive design director for INFINITI, the Qs Inspiration Concept confirms INFINITI’s new form language for its forthcoming electrified vehicles. The concept draws on INFINITI’s Japanese DNA for inspiration, and is revealed in a newly-designed exhibition space, created in partnership with renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. The exhibition space has been designed in harmony with the new Qs Inspiration concept and INFINITI’s design direction for its electrified models, and will be featured at other major auto shows in future.

"As designers, we are constantly inspired by the technology of our engineers and the Japanese design influences which are part of our DNA," said Alfonso Albaisa, senior vice president for Global Design, Nissan Motor Company. "Here in Shanghai, we have not been alone on this journey. I am very honored to have had Kengo Kuma as a ‘sensei,’ helping us evolve and express a new language in our company architecture. In Shanghai, we reveal our Kuma-san-designed INFINITI booth, expressing a new visual poetry, harmony and innovation."

INFINITI to produce its first new-generation electrified vehicle in China, for China

The Qs Inspiration is revealed as INFINITI announces that the first of its new-generation electrified vehicles will be built in China, for the Chinese market.

"China has the most growth potential for electric vehicles globally, especially in the premium segment," said Christian Meunier, chairman of INFINITI Motor Company. "The age of electrification presents us with an opportunity to renew our credentials as an innovative challenger brand, ready to move quickly and decisively in this growing and exciting area of the market."

The Qs Inspiration Concept precedes a new-generation electrified production model from INFINITI, one of a series of advanced-powertrain road cars to be launched by the brand in the years ahead. Electrification presents an opportunity to reinvent the INFINITI brand globally through high-performance, low-emissions models which offer a thrilling driving experience and total range confidence.

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