2016 Infiniti QX70 Ultimate
is set to launch the Q30 at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, but the Mercedes-powered luxury hatchback isn’t the only vehicle Infiniti will showcase in Germany. Though it’s a bit long in the tooth for an auto show introduction, the current QX70 (launched in 2009 as the FX and renamed in 2013) is getting a new trim: the Ultimate.
With several special features added inside and out, Infiniti hopes the QX70 Ultimate will help keep sales of the SUV steady until a third-generation model arrives. Unfortunately, the Ultimate will only be offered in Europe and Russia, meaning U.S. customers will have to settle for the other trims until Infiniti does something about it.
"The QX70 has long struck a chord with buyers seeking something exceptional, but the Infiniti QX70 Ultimate is designed to respond to the most exclusive needs and desires of buyers," François Goupil de Bouillé, vice president of Infiniti Europe, Middle East and Africa, said about the new trim.
Keep reading to find out more about this SUV and stay tuned for more photos from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next week.
Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti QX70 Ultimate.
2016 Infiniti QX70 Ultimate
0-60 time:6 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:155 mph (Est.)
Already a distinctive SUV by design, mostly due to its coupe roofline, long hood, bold grille, and swept-back headlamps, the QX70 becomes even more special with an Ultimate badge. Much like the QX80 Limited, the QX70 Ultimate received dark trim front to rear, with nearly all the chrome trim painted black. Up front, the big Infiniti emblem and the fog light surrounds are the only features that retained their chrome trim.
The blacked-out look is complemented by a protruding splitter attached to the front bumper and a new rear diffuser with an F1-style red fog lamp mounted at the center, a feature borrowed from the 2011 Infiniti Sebastian Vettle Concept. Speaking of this model, the Ultimate seems to slot right between the standard car and the Vettel concept. It’s not as aggressive as the special-edition SUV, which had a racier front bumper and rear diffuser, and a lowered suspension, but it’s definitely sportier than the regular QX70.
When viewed from the side, the Ultimate is standard QX70 business save for the black window trim and the new 21-inch anthracite alloy wheels. Overall, this is a cool exterior package that breathes new life into the QX70’s bold design.
The interior gained a few special features too, including shiny black lacquer finishes, purple stitching, and softer leather. Unfortunately, Infiniti has yet to unveil photos of the cabin and I can’t tell how the add-ons work with the QX70’s interior. Nevertheless, these new features should set the Ultimate apart.
The QX70 Ultimate is powered by the same engines in the standard model. There’s the gasoline 3.7-liter V-6 rated at 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, and the diesel 3.0-liter V-6 generating 240 horses and a stout 406 pound-feet of twist. Both are mated to a seven-speed adaptive-shift automatic transmission with gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. Charging from 0 to 62 takes 6.8 seconds for the gasoline model and 8.3 ticks for the diesel, while top speed is 155 mph for both.
Unfortunately, the 5.0-liter V-8 was discontinued at the end of the 2014 model year, meaning the Ultimate won’t benefit from the QX70’s previously most potent engine. The unit was rated at 390 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque and returned a 0-to-60 mph sprints of 5.8 seconds.
The QX70 Ultimate employs front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, child seat anchors, emergency braking assist, rear door child safety locks, dusk-sensing headlamps, rear center three-point belt, and tire pressure monitoring. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the QX70 "Good" ratings for front and rear impacts.
The QX70 Ultimate will become available in Western Europe and Russia right after the SUV makes its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. In the United Kingdom, the Infiniti will starts from £52,430 (about $80,910) with the gasoline engine and from £52,280 (around $80,670) with the diesel. The base QX70 retails from £43,100 (about $66,500).
Don’t expect it to cross the pond to the U.S. anytime soon, although Infiniti might offer something similar in the future.
The midsize market is packed with premium SUVs, but very few of them look as sporty as the QX70. One such vehicle is the Porsche Cayenne, which received an extensive facelift for the 2015 model year. Though it remained virtually unchanged in terms of shape and size, the Cayenne received a more aggressive front fascia and updated engines. The base Cayenne is best suited to tackle the gasoline-powered QX70 with a 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes 7.7 seconds. On the diesel front, the Cayenne uses a 3.0-liter V-6 with 262 horses and 428 pound-feet that charges to 62 mph in 7.3 ticks. Pricing starts from £49,576 (about $76,480) and £50,441 (around $77,800), respectively.
Read more about the Porsche Cayenne here.
Though it’s usually compared to the X5, the QX70 is sleek enough to compete against the coupe-styled X6. While the U.S. version gets only two gasoline engines, the European model comes with an array of diesels too. Since the V-8 is definitely way too powerful for the QX70, the xDrive35i seems like a more appropriate rival given the 3.0-liter inline-six cranks out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet. In the diesel department, the xDrive30d comes with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder generating 258 horses and 413 pound-feet of torque. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes 6.1 seconds and 6.7 ticks, respectively. U.K. pricing starts from £51,615 (around $79,650).
Find out more about the BMW X6 here.
Granted, the QX70 Ultimate won’t create a lot of fuss at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it will attract the attention of SUV drivers looking for a sporty looking family hauler. Though it’s not as aggressive as the Sebastian Vettel version on the outside, the Ultimate comes with plenty of features to help it stand out in a crowd and even give its sporty German rivals a run for their money. My only issue with the QX70 Ultimate is that it arrived a little too late for the 5.0-liter V-8 engine. The blacked-out appearance and racy bits front and rear are in desperate need of a more powerful gasoline plant.