Infiniti’s Q80 Inspiration hybrid concept opens its suicide doors ahead of Paris Motor Show

After a quick tease last week, the Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept has emerged ahead of its official debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

This dramatic four-door fastback previews future Infiniti styling, and possibly a new flagship model that will help Nissan’s luxury brand build a concrete identity.

Former Infiniti chief Johan de Nysschen previously hinted at a flagship four-door coupe to rival the Porsche Panamera, and the Q80 Inspiration definitely embodies that idea.

However, with its sculpted sides, streamlined LED headlights and taillights, and sleek roofline, The Infiniti is a much more attractive execution of this formula, even if you mentally dial down some of the concept-car showiness.

The “crescent-cut” C-pillars not only serve as Infiniti’s answer to the BMW-signature “Hofmeister kink,” but also house vents to cool the car’s hybrid battery pack. Behind them, the rear glass forms a teardrop shape, which probably isn’t good for visibility, but looks cool.

Related: Formula 1 champ Sebastian Vettel takes the 560-hp Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge for a spin

The suicide doors swing wide for easy access to the interior, which features “1+1+1+1” seating that’s supposed to give the driver and three passengers their own bubble of personal space.

That cabin is lined with the expected mix of leather, wood, metal, and carbon fiber, and is remarkably minimal for a concept car in this age of touch screens and infotainment.

Power for the Q80 Inspiration concept comes from a hybrid system consisting of a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 and an electric motor, good for a combined 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Infiniti says that will get the Q80 from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds, and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. It also estimates fuel economy of around 43 mpg, likely on the highly optimistic European testing cycle.

The Q80 Inspiration also features some autonomous capability, courtesy of five cameras and onboard radar. However, Infiniti still wants the driver to remain in control, so the system is only activated at his or her discretion, and is monitored with a head-up display.

The Infiniti Q80 Inspiration concept itself probably won’t go into production, but different elements of it, including the styling, twin-turbo V6, and even the autonomous tech, all appear feasible.

Also, expect a full-size Infiniti flagship to appear in some form in the next couple of years, hopefully with at least some of the flair of this concept.

Movies & TV

How Avengers: Infinity War’s Oscar-nominated VFX team made Thanos a movie star

The purple-skinned Thanos proved to be a breakout character in Avengers: Infinity War, thanks to the work of actor Josh Brolin and visual effects studios Digital Domain and Weta. Here's how they brought him to life and earned the film an…
Cars

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Cars

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.