Infiniti has made tremendous progress in recent years, evolving from a brand that used to sell slightly more upscale Nissan model into a full-fledged luxury company that competes against the likes of Lexus and Lincoln. Come 2018, and the Japanese brand is looking to expand into new niches, including the electric car market. Set to break cover at the Detroit Auto Show, the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept previews the firm’s upcoming flagship model, alongside its new design direction. Additionally, it may be the company’s first electric model after the race-inspired Prototype 9.
With just two weeks left until Detroit kicks off, Infiniti is still keeping the details under wraps. We do have a couple of teasers to look at and a bit of info to digest, but the Q Inspiration remains pretty much a mystery for now. "It is the first manifestation of Infiniti’s new form language for an era of advanced powertrains and presents a design vision for vehicles in this segment," the company said, hinting that the Q Inspiration will introduce a new styling language and maybe even a new flagship model.
Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti Q Inspiration concept.
- Upgraded front grille
- Thin LED headlamps
- Aggressive vents in the hood
- White grille
- Sleek profile with coupe roofline
- Slender taillights
- Sporty rear bumper
- No exhaust pipes
Infiniti has yet to show the car in full, but the teaser photos give us a good look at the main features. Up front, the sedan appears to have an upgraded, larger front grille with a wide lower section, a polished logo, and extremely thin headlamps that extend into the front fenders, just above the wheel arches.
The headlamp units feature small vertical bars, which could be part of some new LED technology, while the engine hood has aggressive vents carved on each side. The grille is finished in white, just like the body, which gives the sedan a unique and upscale look.
The second teaser shows both the profile and rear end of the Q Inspiration concept. And I must admit that the four-door is rather gorgeous. The side elements are clean and muscular. The beltline is set lower than usual on the doors, moving upward only as it passes above the rear haunches. The roofline is sleek and reminds me of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera. A big vents place behind the front wheel leaves a big dents in the front lower door area, giving the car a sporty look. The wheels have an intricate design and appear to blend polished aluminum with carbon-fiber inserts.
Around back, the Q Inspiration concept is unlike any other Infiniti built until now. The coupe-like roof extends into a short, raked decklid, while the thin, sculpted taillights extend across the entire width of the rear fascia. The logo on the trunk lid is back by "Infiniti" lettering below the taillights for a more luxurious look, while the bumper sports two aggressive intakes on each side. The lack of visible exhaust pipes suggests that this concept car might have an electric drivetrain.
- Four-seat layout
- Likely to have luxury features
- Could preview new technology
Infiniti had nothing to say about the concept’s interior and the teaser photos don’t provide too many hints either. All I can gather from the pictures is that the cabin has four individual seats, which will translate into enhanced comfort for rear-seat passengers. The seats also appear to have solid bolstering and wide headrests. It looks like we will have to wait for the concept to make its debut at the Detroit Auto Show to find out more, but it’s safe to assume that it will preview new tech and features that will be launched in future production models.
- Possible electric drivetrain
- Evolution of hybrid V-6 powertrain
Note: Infiniti Prototype 9 pictured here.
No word on drivetrains either, although Infiniti did mention "smarter, compact drivetrains." As mentioned earlier, the lack of visible exhaust pipes could mean that the Q Inspiration concept will preview an upcoming electric drivetrain.
The last time Infiniti showcased a battery-powered drivetrain was in the race-inspired Prototype 9. The concept was powered by a 30-kWh, high-voltage battery and a prototype electric motor rated at 148 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A development of this drivetrain sounds just right for the Q Inspiration, but it should boast a bit more oomph and use all-wheel-drive instead of an RWD system.
A hybrid drivetrain is also possible, but it remains to be seen whether Infiniti is introducing a new one or a revised version of the combo offered in the Q70. The sedan uses a 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 302 horsepower and 258 pound-feet and a Nissan-made electric motor that’s good for 67 horses and 214 pound-feet. Total output is rated at 360 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of twist.
At this point it’s tough to say if this show car previews a successor to the Q50 or Q70, but it could be a flagship model. It’s also possible that the Q Inspiration is a preview for a larger sedan, like the much-rumored Q90. Stay tuned for updates from the Detroit Auto Show later this month.
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