Infiniti has debuted is newest concept at the Bejing Auto Show

Infiniti has been busy preparing something new for the Beijing Auto Show, and today it finally released a teaser image of its upcoming concept. With the Beijing auto show set to kick off on April 29th, Infiniti has released a new teaser image of its soon-to-be-revealed SUV concept. Like most teaser images, it only gives us a quick glimpse into the future, but that glimpse is certainly enough to catch out attention.

Infiniti’s Executive Design Direction – Alfonso Albaisa – said, “The QX Sport Inspiration expresses a power and purpose that is uniquely Infiniti. With a flowing, natural aesthetic, this concept demonstrates how Infiniti can offer something new and exciting with future QX SUV models.”

A quick glance at the teaser image makes us think about the Q60 Concept that we saw last year in Detroit, and is said to be inspired by Infiniti’s “Powerful Elegance” design language. In a sense, the concept serves as a means of exploration for Infiniti’s next-generation, mid-size SUV. Of course, the teaser image leaves us with more questions than it does answers, but let’s take a closer look at the teaser image anyway, and see what we can make out.

Updated 04/25/2016: Infiniti dropped the official details on the QX Sport Inspiration Concept at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept.

  • 2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • 0-60 time:
    6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    9/10

Exterior

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Up front, we can see almost exactly what we saw in the teaser image. Those “human eye” headlights are sleek and sexy, with small vertical vents recessed into the corners of the fascia. The double-finish grille has a large Infiniti logo in the middle and has a spider web like appearance. Body lines run from the upper corners of the grille, through the top of the headlights down the side of the vehicle. Down below two small vents are outlined with chrome trim, and there is a small air dam in between them. The hood itself is mainly smooth but features two muscular lines to give the front end even more definition.

The hood itself is mainly smooth but features two muscular lines to give the front end even more definition.

To the side, we can see that the body line that runs from the grille and through the headlight, continues down the side, angling up at the rear door to eventually terminate at the point of the wraparound taillights. Another body line runs from the top of the wheel arch and curves downward just a little bit before fading off smoothly into the rear door. Just below that, there is another body line the curves downward much harder, giving the car a unique side profile. The side skirts seamlessly integrate into the front fenders and create a vent-like appearance behind the front wheel wells. There is also a recessed area just above the side skirt that serves as a side step for easier entry. From this view, we can see that the roof slants downward closer to the rear, with the rearmost pillar accenting that downward tilt. The concept rides on what appears to be 20-inch wheels that have a spiral spoke pattern.

To the rear, the QX Sport Inspiration has a rounded out tail, with sleek wraparound taillights and a couple of smooth body lines give the rear more character. There is also a sharp line that wraps around from the rear wheel arches and runs the full width of the rear. Down below the rear diffuser is smooth and painted gloss black. The two exhaust exits are accented inserts that have taken a heavy dose of chrome. All told the exterior does look about production ready, and I wouldn’t expect to see much change when Infiniti decides to enter that mid-size segment.

Interior

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Interior
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The interior is a futuristic interpretation of what Infiniti wants to do with the SUV, but even with such a futuristic approach, the interior isn’t all that farfetched. First off, everything is focused around the driver. The center console even forms a barrier wall between the driver and passenger and the infotainment display screen is even tilted in favor of the driver. Most of the interior is wrapped in either black or white leather, some of which has been scored to display a prism-like appearance. The top of the dash, center console, and part of the door trim is all wrapped in white leather while the rest of the interior is wrapped with black leather held together by black stitching. Hard black saddle leather lines the floor and kick plates. Furthermore, that leather has been laser and features backlit Infiniti emblems.

The concept boasts a digital instrument cluster that offers a tachometer and gear display on the left, a speedo on the right and an information display in the center

As you can see, the driver gets the majority of the technology. The concept boasts a digital instrument cluster that offers a tachometer and gear display on the left, a speedo on the right and an information display in the center. The large, horizontally oriented infotainment screen sits atop the dash where there would normally be a center stack. Oddly, the only HVAC vents up front are also angled toward the driver. There is a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel with a host of buttons on the left and right spokes that are used to control the virtual cluster. The control knob on the center console is likely to be the primary controller for the infotainment system.

We have yet to see any shots of the rear, but we do know that there is a small display screen perched on top of the center console, right in between the two front seats. This is used by rear passengers to control the HVAC system, but may also be the host of some infotainment controls for the rear. There is a large glass panel in the roof, and the same color scheme carries over in the rear as well.

Drivetrain

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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As is the case with most concepts of this caliber, Infiniti has yet to release any information on what might be hidden under the hood. If we had to guess, based on the overall appearance of the concept, it probably has one of the three engines used in the Q60 coupe. This means there could be a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0-liter that delivers either 300 ponies and 295 pound-feet or 400 horses and 350 pound-feet. Considering Infiniti isn’t offering the Q60 coupe with the option for a six-speed manual, this concept will probably sport the same seven-speed automatic along with all-wheel drive.

Conclusion

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The teaser that was released before the QX Sport Inspiration Concept debuted raised more questions than it did answers. Now that we’ve seen the concept in broad daylight, we now have a good look of what future Infiniti SUVs will probably look like. It’s pretty evident that Infiniti designed this concept with production in mind, so I would expect to see a new mid-sized SUV come from the Infiniti brand sooner rather than later – it obviously already has a damn good template to work from. I doubt a production model will be quite as aggressive as this, but I don’t think it will be that far off. Now, let’s just hope that Infiniti tells us what is lurking under the hood, and when we’ll be able to get our hands on a production model.

  • Leave it
    • Headlights look a little goofy
    • Downward sloping roof is too common these days

Press Release

The Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration is an elegant and powerful expression of progressive SUV design. Laying down markers for future Infiniti QX models, the QX Sport Inspiration explores the brand’s vision for a next-generation, premium mid-size SUV.

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The QX Sport Inspiration stands out in its segment with its taut lines, muscular haunches, high visual center of gravity, long bonnet and raked, coupe-like silhouette. Immediately recognizable as an Infiniti, the QX Sport Inspiration is inspired by Infiniti’s "Powerful Elegance" form language and bears the brand’s design hallmarks – including the signature double-arch grille, focused "human eye" headlamps, "crescent-cut" C-pillar and masculine, fluid body sculpting.

Flowing lines and advanced craftsmanship characterize the spacious and beautifully appointed interior, which follows Infiniti’s "driver-centric, passenger-minded" approach to cabin architecture. The interior’s color palette – predominantly black and white with flashes of the hide’s natural tan color – is striking, yet harmoniously blended through careful use of line, form, and texture.

"The QX Sport Inspiration is a statement of intent from Infiniti, showcasing a daring design philosophy and a demonstration of our capabilities in the mid-size SUV segment."
Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti

QX Sport Inspiration in detail

Exploring Infiniti’s vision for a next-generation SUV
With the QX Sport Inspiration, Infiniti has started to explore the potential to expand its portfolio in the mid-size SUV market – one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing premium segments.

Infiniti boasts a strong history in SUV design – the pioneering Infiniti FX45, launched in 2003, set the template for sporting SUVs over the following decade. Regarded as the world’s first mid-size multi-purpose sports vehicle, the FX is still considered an SUV design icon today. In an increasingly crowded and popular market segment, the QX Sport Inspiration seeks to build on Infiniti’s SUV heritage and generate further excitement for the brand.

"The QX Sport Inspiration comes at a time when Infiniti continues to expand its product portfolio globally – into new and popular segments. We design concept cars with true production potential, and the QX Sport Inspiration offers a vision of how Infiniti could bring something exciting and new to the mid-sized SUV segment."
Francois Bancon, Infiniti Vice President Product Strategy

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Exterior design that expresses power and purpose
"The QX Sport Inspiration expresses power and purpose through what we describe as its ’proportional clarity’, with an elegance that is uniquely Infiniti. The exterior design will appeal to an artistic sensibility. It has a more flowing, natural aesthetic than that evident in traditional premium SUVs."
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director

Inspired by Infiniti’s Powerful Elegance form language, taut lines, short overhangs and muscular haunches endow the QX Sport Inspiration with a purposeful aura that hints at its dynamic capability. The long, smooth hood draws the eye back over the vehicle and the visual weight builds over the car’s haunches to reinforce the "lean-forward" stance.

The concept promises off-road versatility, aided by its raised, 230 mm (9.1 in) ground clearance, as well as the empowering, in-control on-road driving characteristics and cruising comfort that is expected of any Infiniti. The concept features a lean, purposeful form, with a short front overhang and wide stance – total width (excluding rear-view cameras) is 1,900 mm (74.8 in), while length is 4,600 mm (181.1 in).

Infiniti has launched a number of new models recently which adhere closely to the form and philosophy of concept models – notably the Q30, the QX30 and the Q60. All share a suite of signature design cues that help ensure each is immediately recognizable as an Infiniti.

The QX Sport Inspiration evolves these signature design elements, including a new interpretation of Infiniti’s hallmark "crescent-cut" C-pillar, where the leading edge of the crescent is raised – echoing that of the acclaimed Q80 Inspiration Concept. Bringing added emphasis to this feature, the curvature of the C-pillars is mirrored in the lines of the rear hatch window.

In profile the bodywork tapers down from the Concept’s roof (1,650 mm – 64.9 in – maximum height) toward a rear hatch that has been angled to accentuate the vehicle’s "lean-forward," coupe-like silhouette.

At the front, the line from the top of Infiniti’s familiar double-arch grille extends through the sharp, high-performance, focused "human-eye" headlamps – another Infiniti signature design theme – around the edge of the hood to form a character line that runs over the wide, flared front wheel arches and along the flanks to the tapered rear.

Three-dimensional "blade-shaped" tail lamps taper inwards to the center of the hatchback panel, echoing the organic forms apparent elsewhere on the exterior.

Stand-out elements blend form and function
"For Infiniti, the definition of ’elegance’ can be the most sophisticated solution to a complex engineering or aerodynamic challenge, as well as a statement of striking aesthetics. This drives our instinct to create designs that are both beautiful and useful."
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director

The exterior of the QX Sport Inspiration is notable for numerous design details that are visually striking while also fulfilling a clear functional purpose. For example, located above the sills on both sides of the car is a recessed step. As well as aiding ingress and egress for driver and passengers, this step – finished in gloss-black – reduces the apparent depth of the bodywork and raises the Concept’s visual center of gravity for a "go anywhere" SUV-like appearance.

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Interior
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Large vertical "blade-shaped" vents are integrated into the front fender, highlighting the width of the Concept while also admitting cooling air to the front brakes. Another pair of vertical vents, located behind the bold front wheel arches, reference those found on previous Infiniti concepts and also serve an aerodynamic purpose, extracting turbulent, drag-inducing air from the front wheel arches.

Another design feature artfully blending form and function is the performance-inspired rear diffuser, which aids aerodynamic efficiency and is careful integrated with the exhaust outlets.

At the base of the slim "floating" A-pillars, small rear-facing cameras in sleek housings replace conventional rear-view side mirrors. The A-pillars rise to flank the panoramic glass roof, which extends from the header rail to the rear hatch. The roof features a Cosmic Chrome™ gradation, visually blending the glasshouse into the rear roof spoiler, creating a distinctive aesthetic feature that also helps manage temperature within the cabin.

Handcrafted interior lays down guiding principles for future Infiniti cabins
In line with one of the core tenets of Infiniti design, the beautiful, handcrafted cabin of the QX Sport Inspiration is both "driver-centric and passenger-minded."

Laying the foundations for future Infiniti models, the striking interior is based around distinct zones for the passengers and the driver. The front section of the vehicle is focused on the needs of the driver, endowing a true sense of confidence and control. At the same time, the horizontally-biased interior architecture, with lines that wrap around the upper portions of the cabin, promotes a feeling of togetherness throughout.

The four-seat layout emphasizes the designers’ desire to give all passengers their own personal space within the cabin, while a fifth seat in the center of the rear bench is available if needed. Despite the relatively compact footprint of the car and the coupe-like roofline, the floating front and rear seats – suspended to allow more space on the floor of the cabin – and the generous 2,800 mm (110.2 in) wheelbase allow all passengers to travel in comfort.

When the doors are opened it is possible to see how the recessed sill-step is level with the floor of the cabin, emphasizing a sense of openness and referencing the harmonization of interior and exterior design.

A strong, twisting character line flows from the front of the cabin to the rear, tumbling downwards at the B-pillar, inspired by and echoing the organic lines of the exterior.

Echoing the organic, natural contours of the exterior and interior, Infiniti’s designers have experimented with different cabin materials, using them to dictate some of the resulting forms. The QX Sport Inspiration features a two-tone black-and-white interior, with black surfaces resembling the appearance of body armor, playing off against the soft and gentle forms of the brighter white surfaces.

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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"We experimented with a range of tailored and handcrafted materials throughout the interior, and our designers have used these different materials to dictate the form, contours and finish of the cabin. The combination of different types of leathers – both hard and soft to the touch – result in a more organic, natural finish."
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director

Many of the cabin’s surfaces are wrapped in robust black saddle leather, which designers used to dictate the structure and shapes of the central control stack, as well as the lower dashboard, armrests, and luggage-space cover. The thickness, finish, and shaping of the material is used to accentuate the rich, natural feel of the leather and to emphasize the cabin’s handcrafted appearance. Some of the hard black saddle leather surfaces are scored to replicate the sharp angles found in a crystal prism. Hard black saddle leather also lines the floor and kickplates, with laser-cut, back-lit Infiniti logos visible upon entry.

White leathers are used across the upper dashboard, including harder matt leather with a concave finish which lines the doors and adds visual texture – of shade and light. The multi-function steering wheel is finished in Nubuck leather, while the A-pillars and lining around the panoramic roof are all finished in black Ultra-suede®.

Contrasting black and white leathers are sewn together with silver stitching. Modelled on the Q80 Inspiration Concept, a contrasting tan edging – the hide’s natural color – also runs around the top of the dashboard and doors, as well as around the leather that lines the floor.

The color gradation of the panoramic glass roof acts as a shade for passengers in the rear in bright sunlight, while still affording a light and airy ambience.

The cabin’s driver-centric layout and minimalist controls are designed to allow the driver to focus more of their attention on the simple pleasure of driving. Clear and simple ventilation controls are embedded in the mesh of the air vents themselves.

Drivers can switch driving modes with a dial on the center console, and change gears with metal paddle-shifters mounted on rear of the steering wheel. Within easy view of the driver, a pair of compact monitors integrated into the A-pillars project the images captured on the two rear-facing cameras that replace the door mirrors. Between the front seats a small touchscreen panel provides rear-seat passengers with their own ventilation controls.

A global network of design studios working together
Infiniti is a truly international brand, with design, engineering and production facilities on three continents. As with all of its current production models, for the QX Sport Inspiration the company has been able to draw upon an eclectic mix of cultures and inspirations.

"We have worked hard to develop a creative design network that seeks to capture the imagination of people from around the world. By establishing a culture of exchange between all of our studios, Infiniti is able to design beautiful, expressive and progressive cars."
Alfonso Albaisa, Infiniti Executive Design Director

2016 Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Infiniti operates a global network of design studios in Japan, the United Kingdom, China and the U.S. The company’s design network takes inspiration from every region of the world, with each studio drawing on the characteristics of its respective region and providing a window into the needs and desires of its customers.

Infiniti’s design studio in London, United Kingdom, evaluates and reflects modern European tastes and draws on traditional and modern interpretations of automotive luxury. The Beijing, China, design center tends to be particularly daring in its designs, challenging conventional notions of shape and balance. The Infiniti Design center in San Diego is situated in the brand’s largest market, providing insights into the lifestyle of the USA’s West Coast and the needs and desires of American car buyers in general. Finally, located in Atsugi, Japan, the company’s central design center provides executive guidance for each of the other studios and shapes highly progressive yet production-realistic designs.

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