The Infiniti QX50 concept is based on the QX Sport Inspiration concept first seen at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. It previews a replacement for the current Infiniti QX50, which is based on the now-discontinued G37 sedan. Where the current QX50 is really a G37 wagon on stilts, the new concept is styled more like a traditional SUV. The concept has short overhangs, a massive grille, and a tall hood and roof line, for a more macho SUV look.
The QX50 concept will feature driver-assist technology that may show up in future production models. Infiniti said these features will allow a car to drive itself through stop-and-go traffic, but that it doesn’t want to take full control away from the driver. The system is production ready according to Infiniti, though the automaker did not discuss a timeline for its launch.
Infiniti also noted that the QX50 concept “demonstrates a potential application” for its VC-Turbo variable compression ratio engine, which was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show in September. The engine can change its compression ratio on the fly, potentially allowing for a better balance between performance and fuel efficiency. It does this by adjusting how much the pistons move within their cylinders.
The VC-Tubo engine itself is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit that, as its name says, is turbocharged. It can alter its compression ratio from a performance-oriented 8:1, to an efficiency-focused 14:1. Infiniti is aiming for 268 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque. It expects a fuel-efficiency improvement of 27 percent over a V6 gasoline engine of comparable power output.
More details on the Infiniti QX50 concept will be revealed at Infiniti’s Detroit Auto Show press conference January 9, so stay tuned. Expect a production version of the QX50 concept to appear within the next year or so.
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