by Jay Traugott
Those who fondly remember the old Infiniti FX are very much going to like what they see here. Introducing the all-new, first-ever 2022 Infiniti QX55, a crossover coupe version of the compact QX50 luxury crossover SUV. With its sleeker exterior design, the QX55 may at first appear to be an entirely new model, but this BMW X4 fighter's bones are shared with its more conventionally-styled sibling.
Infiniti claims the QX55 is "a statement-maker" and there's no reason to question that. The luxury Japanese brand even calls the QX55 a spiritual successor to the FX thanks to its roofline design that's all about style. It will fit very nicely into this rapidly growing segment that continues to lure buyers away from conventional luxury coupes and sedans. Infiniti is currently working to revive its image and product lineup and the QX55 is the prime ambassador for that task at the moment. But will it make an impact against its German rivals? Time will tell.
The spirit of the now 20-year-old FX is definitely present here. The 2022 QX55's bold styling is very much in line with the rest of today's Infiniti lineup, most notably with its origami-inspired mesh pattern within the double-arch grille. On either side of the grille are standard LED headlights. The fog lights are surrounded by black accents. One particularly noteworthy design feature is the clamshell hood, a styling decision made in order to help better blend the shunt lines to the front fenders. The hood also links to the A-pillar with a four-link hinge.
At the rear, the sloping roofline blends nicely to the "piano key" taillights made up of 45 separate LEDs. A set of 20-inch wheels are also standard fare and buyers will have a choice of eight exterior colors, including Dynamic Sunstone Red and Slate Gray.
Other notable design elements include chrome framing the greenhouse, dual exhaust diffusers, and the body-colored lower rear fascia.
Japanese artistry once again played a key role in interior design. Many styling cues are shared with the QX50, but Infiniti made sure to give the QX55 its own unique appearance. Several color combinations are on offer, such as Graphite and Monaco Red/Graphite semi-aniline leather. Leatherette upholstery is standard in the Luxe trim, as is dark brushed aluminum trim throughout. "Zero Gravity" front seats, which help reduce fatigue, are also standard. The Sensory trim comes with open-pore wood trim throughout the cabin.
All QX55 trims (Luxe, Essential, and Sensory) are equipped with a dual, high-resolution touchscreen display and the vehicle is the first Infiniti to offer wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity. Android Auto connectivity is possible, though only by connecting the smartphone to the system via a USB port. Other optional features include a 16-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system and a head-up display that projects a 9-inch windshield image.
Infiniti claims the QX55 has up to 26.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, besting its BMW and Mercedes rivals. There's also a total of 38.7 inches of rear-seat legroom. The second-row bench seat also slides forward and back by up to 6 inches in order to accommodate cargo and/or passenger space.
Regardless of chosen trim, every QX55 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 268 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It also happens to be the world's first mass-produced variable compression engine. The engine varies its compression ratio between 14:1 and 8:1 to benefit both fuel efficiency and spirited driving. Three driving modes are available: Standard, Eco, and Personal.
The sole gearbox is a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with shift-by-wire technology that sends power to the intelligent all-wheel-drive system. If necessary, the system can direct up to 50 percent of the engine's available power to the rear wheels to aid traction. The four-wheel independent suspension and the Body Control Motion tech enable precise handling and overall comfort.
Safety-conscious buyers will be pleased to see the ProPilot assist driver-assistance system come as standard, meaning intelligent cruise control, lane departure warning, and traffic sign detection are all included. The head-up display provides the driver with information regarding lane guidance for navigation and warnings for slower vehicles and upcoming traffic.
Infiniti has not released official pricing for the 2022 QX55, but we expect it will cost more than QX50, which begins at $37,950. We suspect the QX55 will begin at around $45,000 and will arrive in Infiniti showrooms nationwide in spring 2021.
The competition in the compact luxury crossover coupe segment continues to heat up, with the BMW X4, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q3 Sportback, and the Range Rover Evoque having long established themselves. Compared side by side to any of them, the QX55 might just be the design winner. Previous (and perhaps still a few current) FX owners may soon be finding themselves returning to an Infiniti showroom in the very near future.