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Infiniti QX50 Concept Revealed Ahead Of Official Detroit Debut

Concepts / 12 Comments

Thank heavens the designer stuck close to the QX Sport Inspiration Concept.

Infiniti has been undergoing a subtle yet noticeable shift in design strategy as of late, evolving its current image forward with the natural rate of evolution but taking cues from the bold tastes of Lexus' numerous customers in hopes of replicating its rival's success. Nowhere was that more apparent than on the Infiniti QX Sport Inspiration Concept that was first seen ahead of the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. The concept outlined a new flavor Infiniti, one that mimicked the audacious lines of the Lexus RX and hugely successful NX.

As it now seems, Infiniti will bring it to life in a slightly distilled form that's to be called the QX50 Concept. The wraps will come off at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show this January and we sincerely hope the Infiniti keeps the actual QX50 replacement as close as possible to the concept. We recently took a 2017 QX50 on a round trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and while the car-like SUV had all of the modern toys one would expect on a 2017 model, the interior and exterior were aged so badly that it defied logic as to why Infiniti let it go stale for that long. Carlos Ghosn's Nissan/Infiniti wing is well-known for replacing its old products at the very last possible minute.

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However, the company is also known for doing overhauls in a big way. That rings true on the QX50 Concept because on the design front, the SUV departs abruptly from its predecessor, which was an attempt to make a sporting SUV that bore a slight resemblance to a passenger sedan. Not so in this concept. While the "driver-centric, passenger-minded" cabin is luxurious, especially with an accommodating cab forward design that affords more interior space, the exterior effortlessly pulls off the rugged but elegant look. The other two stars of the QX50 Concept are out of plain sight, consisting of the long-awaited variable compression ratio engine from the automaker and a suite of autonomous features.

One such feature we can expect is the predictive forward collision that makes it possible for the QX50 to mimic the Tesla Model X that recently used its future-telling powers to brake seconds before a crash even happened. These systems will take a backseat to the driver, adopting the role of a co-pilot that navigates annoying stop-start highway traffic and generally helping with all of the mundane but important driving tasks. Like Lexus, Infiniti has been around since 1989, but if it hopes to use the new QX50 to catch up to the lead its Japanese counterpart has, it will need to stick as close to the QX50 Concept as possible and lend its technology to the rest of the family.