NYIAS 2017: Infiniti Readies a Less Overblown Replacement for the QX80

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

There’s no debating this. The Infiniti QX80 isn’t just the most overdone vehicle in the full-size SUV segment — it may be the most ungainly looking utility vehicle on the market today.

Oddly proportioned and baroque, Infiniti’s flagship is an affront to the eyes when contrasted with the crisp, creased and traditionally boxy silhouette of, say, the Cadillac Escalade. Well, not for long.

Ahead of next week’s New York International Auto Show, Infiniti has revealed its QX80 Monograph concept vehicle — a design study that signals “the brand’s intention to further develop its standing in the full-size luxury SUV segment,” the automaker claims.

While the roofline resembles the current model’s, Infiniti enhances the floating roof effect by ditching the chrome trim along the upper greenhouse. Gone (thankfully) are the vertebrae-like fender vents, replaced by a small inlet intersected by a chrome strip that extends from above the narrow headlights to the fender-door gap. The gaping grille now falls in line with Infiniti’s overall design direction.

The brand’s QX50 concept, which appeared in Detroit in January, seems to inspire the QX80. Really, it’s just a taller facsimile with lower, wider foglight ports.

While many car makers release concept vehicles for existing, rather than all-new, models, this design seems particularly fleshed out. Don’t be surprised if the next-generation QX80, due in 2018, borrows heavily from it, or appears nearly identical. (Expect side mirrors, though.)

Infiniti says it wants the new QX80’s design to combine “power with elegance.” While sales of the polarizing current model have only grown since its introduction, the automaker clearly feels it can cast a wider net with a more compelling design. The Monograph sees the spotlight in New York on April 11th.

[Images: Infiniti]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Apr 10, 2017

    With the luxification of the current Patrol-Armada, the reasons for purchasing the QX80 become less and less. It now has all the interior features of the QX, and better exterior styling - for much less money.

  • SuperCarEnthusiast SuperCarEnthusiast on Apr 11, 2017

    For the person who is an individual and wants to stand out! Cannot wait to see it! LOL!

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