Previewed by a near-production-ready concept earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, the QX30 is essentially a taller, more rugged-looking version of the recently-introduced 2016 Q30. The X in its name denotes that it gains a few additional inches of ground clearance, aluminum-look trim on the bottom of the front bumper, protective cladding over the wheel arches, and a specific rear bumper.
Like the Q30, the QX30 shares its front-wheel drive MFA platform with Mercedes-Benz’s CLA, GLA, B-Class, and A-Class models. Infiniti hasn’t revealed what lies under the hood yet, but it’s safe to assume the petite crossover is fitted with the same Mercedes-sourced 208-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four as the Q30. While the Q30 is offered with a six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive, Infiniti hints the QX30 will exclusively be available with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox controlled by shift paddles and an all-wheel drive system capable of sending up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle.
The similarities between the QX30 and Mercedes’ successful family of compact models extend beyond the engine bay. The cabin is plucked directly from the Q30, which means that many components — including the instrument cluster, the dash-mounted knob that controls the lights, the switches on the door panels, and the ones on the steering wheel — started life with a Mercedes part number and were vaguely modified before being tossed in the Infiniti parts bin. However, the crossover is equipped with an evolution of the touch-screen-based InTouch infotainment system that was inaugurated by the bigger Q50.
The Infiniti QX30 will go on sale in the United States and in a handful of other markets around the globe halfway through next year. Pricing information and official technical specifications will be available in the weeks leading up to its launch.