This is not the future we signed up for.
There’s some resemblance between the Infiniti A-RT Concept and the Q Inspiration Prototype 10 Speedster Concept that the Japanese luxury automaker showed off at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, but barely. For example, a portion of the front-end on both cars has a shape that can only be described as a mouth making an angry expression, but the comparisons end there. That has to do with the fact the latter of the two vehicles, the A-RT, is not really a conceptual evolution of Infiniti’s current design language at all but a rendering drawn up artist Won Choi of Detroit, Michigan. Choi’s take on the future of Infiniti is radical to say the least. The A-RT takes what the auto industry seems to be working toward - towards electric crossovers built for maximum versatility - and then deconstructs it, rids it of most design cues that our brains see as car-like, and puts it all back together to make one of the strangest sports activity vehicles we’ve seen yet.
The shape the A-RT takes on looks a lot like it’s been taken from a dystopic movie, though it’s name implies it’s just a harmless machine. The letters A-RT stand for "All-Road Tourer," essentially signaling that it's a vehicle that delivers a premium experience that relaxes its occupants no matter the road. It’s aimed at the well-to-do white-collar worker who enjoys active weekend journeys complete with a "revitalizing sensory experience.” From some angles, there’s something appealing about the Infiniti A-RT. It has a sleek sports car shape and aggressively high ground clearance made by its huge wheels.
Before the eyes float too high up, the A-RT Concept looks like it could be a dream come true, a car that can hit the race track and go off-road at the flick of a drive mode switch. But then you get to the high point on the vehicle and all gets ruined from there.
That’s because the top of the A-RT features a strange addition that appears to be glass deviating from the original lines of the body. It straddles the roof and sticks out at the front and rear of the vehicle, looking either like a unicorn with a deformed horn or a cyclops wearing sunglasses. Maybe it's there to channel air into the side's flying buttresses, or perhaps it houses an array of sensors to enable self-driving functionality, but in either case it ruins the car's design. Some concept cars play the role of inspiring us and exciting us for the future. Others are a stark warning of where we could end up if all goes wrong. The Infiniti A-RT Concept, unfortunately, falls into the latter category.