Is this the upcoming Q90 flagship sedan?

Infiniti has made tremendous progress in recent years, evolving from a brand that used to sell slightly more upscale Nissan models into a full-fledged luxury company that competes against the likes of Lexus and Lincoln. Come 2018, and the Japanese brand is looking to expand into new niches, including the electric car market. The Japanese firm is also readying a new design language, which was previewed at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show by the Q Inspiration concept.

A slightly futuristic midsize sedan, the Q Inspiration is giving us a glance into Infiniti’s future car design. It also signals a next-generation Q70 that’s sportier and uses a new-generation engine with variable compression ratio. "The premium sedan segment has become rather conservative. The Infiniti Q Inspiration previews something that could appeal to a younger audience, who seek modern design and new technologies to inspire and empower them," explained Christian Meunier, the company’s Global Division Vice President.

Infiniti didn’t say whether the Q Inspiration also previews an upcoming flagship sedan, but the concept car should serve as inspiration for all future products. Let’s have a closer look at what it brings to the table in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept.


  • Upgraded front grille
  • Thin LED headlamps
  • Aggressive vents in the hood
  • Big chrome grille
  • Sleek profile with coupe roofline
  • Slender taillights
  • Sporty rear bumper
  • No exhaust pipes
2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Exterior
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The Q Inspiration is a blend of clean lines, confident proportions, and muscular features

The first vehicle to sport the company’s future design language, the Q Inspiration is a blend of clean lines, confident proportions, and muscular features. Up front, we can see traces of the company’s current styling. The grille is the most familiar feature, but it’s now larger and looks more organic. The regular mesh, however, was replaced by a unique design with a fully closed upper section and vertical fins that become shorter toward the center on the lower side. This design boasts an interesting effect, with the slats noticeable only if you look at the nose up front. Move to the side a bit and the fins disappear, an effect that’s further enhanced by the fact that the lower section is tucked deep into the frame, making the chrome finish less visible.

Below, there’s a split design for the apron, while the rest of the bumper consists of massive vents. There are two just under the grille and two more on the sides.

2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Exterior
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The headlamps are carved deep into the body, eliminating the classic plastic lenses seen on most cars

The headlamps are unique too. The cool thing about them is that they don’t even look like headlamps, as they are carved deep into the body. A thick sheet of metal splits the already slender cutout in two, giving the impression that the vehicle doesn’t have headlamps, just a couple of stylish crack that light up when needed. The new reflective technology and the very narrow, vertical LED stripes bring them to life when turned on, despite looking like dark holes when not in use. The headlamps are no longer just plastic covers attached to the body and this idea seems like a stylish option for the future.

The front hood is shaped like an aggressive V that starts from the nose and becomes wider toward the screen, eventually merging with the beltline from the bottom of the A-pillars toward the back. The side panels are very clean, but they can’t be described as featureless. While there are no side mirrors and door handles to disturb the design, the side skirts are pretty big, while the rear haunches are as muscular as a proper sports car. The side mirrors have been replaced by small cameras, which is the norm for concept cars these days, while the roof is made entirely from glass. The chrome and carbon-fiber wheels with an intricate spoke design are a nice touch as well.

2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Exterior
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Despite being a luxury car, the Q Inspiration has almost no chrome on the body

Around back, the Q Inspiration boasts a sporty stance. Not only the roof ends in a fastback layout with a short and sleek decklid, but the taillights are extremely thin (and carved deep into the body, just like the headlamps), while the bumper has big air vents.

Another interesting feature is the overall lack of chrome. Despite being a luxury car, the Q Inspiration has almost no chrome on the body, with high-sheen trim limited to the front grille and the rear bumper. This is a significantly different approach from most premium automakers — including Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce — which usually use a lot of chrome on their cars.


  • Clean layout
  • Wood veneer dashboard
  • "Floating" center console
  • Four-seat layout
  • Enhanced passenger space
  • Premium features
  • Autonomous drive
2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Interior
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The cabin boasts a minimalist approach with clean surfaces and emphasis on passenger space

Infiniti didn’t have much to say about the cabin, but the photos reveal a minimalist approach with clean surfaces and emphasis on passenger space. The dashboard is thin and as simple as they get, but the wood veneer and the small display in the center gives it a premium look. The steering wheel is modern and sporty, bringing together white and black leather, carbon-fiber spokes, and a flat bottom. The door panels have a multi-layer design, with wood veneer set on top of the black leather panels and the white leather armrests. Thin chrome trim and red stitching adds to the intricate look.

The traditional center console seen in production models was replaced by a sleak looking element that appears to float inside the cabin. The design gives front-seat passengers more space and makes the entire cabin look airy.

2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept
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The glass roof allows natural light to flood the cabin

The seats have a unique and more modern design. They look more like fancy office seats thanks to their four-piece design with the wide shoulder rest and the thin headrest. But they do appear to be very comfortable and offer proper lateral support at the same time. The rear compartment has two identical seats, while the center console stretches all the way back to act as central armrest. The glass roof allows natural light to flood the cabin.

Tech information is slim, but Infiniti did say that the concept uses new "ProPilot functionality." That’s probably the next-generation autonomous technology that the brand is working on for future model. In the company’s own words, it "enables drivers to delegate more stressful driving tasks to the car, and enjoy an enhanced ability to respond to hazards. With the system acting as a co-pilot, the driver always retains ultimate control."


  • Variable compression ratio engine
  • Enhanced fuel efficiency
  • Production-ready drivetrain
2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Exterior
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Power comes from Infiniti's VC-Turbo technology, the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine

The Q Inspiration is powered by Infiniti’s revolutionary VC-Turbo technology, the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine. This new technology enables the the compression ratio to adjust in real time and optimize the engine for either high performance driving or fuel efficient cruising. Unlike most features inside and out, the VC-Turbo technology is actually scheduled to go into production for a number of vehicles.

However, the upcoming sedan could also sport an electric drivetrain, hinted by the lack of exhaust pipes.

The last time Infiniti showcased a battery-powered drivetrain was in the race-inspired Prototype 9. The concept was powered by a 30-kWh, high-voltage battery and a prototype electric motor rated at 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A development of this drivetrain sounds just right for the Q Inspiration, but it should boast a bit more oomph and use all-wheel-drive instead of an RWD system.

A hybrid drivetrain is also possible, but it remains to be seen whether Infiniti is introducing a new one or a revised version of the combo offered in the Q70. The sedan uses a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 302 horsepower and 258 pound-feet and a Nissan-made electric motor that’s good for 67 horses and 214 pound-feet. Total output is rated at 360 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of twist.


2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Exterior
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Based on Infiniti’s description that the Q Inspiration is a midsize vehicle, the concept car should preview the next-generation Q70. However, I don’t expect too many of its design features to make it on the production model. Sure, the next Q70 will probably have the overall shape and size and the larger grille, but the headlamps and taillights will definitely grow in size. The cabin will also ditch the seats and the simple dashboard layout. While some of these features would make a production model too expensive, the clean layout isn’t yet suitable for current vehicles that still rely on numerous buttons and knobs to communicate with the passengers. Still, the Q Inspiration is truly inspiring and it will be Infiniti’s best-looking vehicle for many auto shows to come. Hopefully it will also serve as inspiration for the much-rumored Q90 flagship sedan.

  • Leave it
    • Many fancy features won’t make it into production


2018 Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Exterior
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Infiniti Q Inspiration Concept Points To Future Of Infiniti’s Design Language

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Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

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Press release

INFINITI has released the first image of its new Q Inspiration Concept ahead of its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Representing the next step in INFINITI design, the exterior of Q Inspiration features clear and concise lines and eschews classical sedan forms with its elongated silhouette. It is the first manifestation of INFINITI’s new form language for an era of advanced powertrains and presents a design vision for vehicles in this segment.

"We aim to take traditional sedan architecture to its next stage of evolution. The Q Inspiration offers an alternative form; something more flowing in appearance and muscular in stance, with an unusually long and balanced cabin. Experimenting with new proportions in an established segment with the arrival of smarter, compact powertrains, the Q Inspiration features a shorter hood and elongated body, with all the benefits to interior wellbeing, comfort and space that this layout entails."
Karim Habib, INFINITI Executive Design Director

The INFINITI Q Inspiration Concept will be revealed in Detroit on January 15, 2018, at 12:35 p.m. EST.

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